Swollen Jaw: Should You See an Emergency Dentist for It?

11 October 2021
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If your jaw suddenly becomes swollen with pain, you may wonder if you should see an emergency dentist about it. Several things can make your jaw swell, including infection. If you don't see a dentist soon, the swelling can become worse. Learn more about jaw swelling and why you should see an emergency dentist for care below.

Why Is Your Jaw Swollen?

A swollen jaw isn't something you want to put off treating, especially if you suffer from pain. A swollen jaw may indicate several things, including a tooth infection. The infection can start in your tooth and quickly spread to the soft tissues in your jaw. Untreated tooth infections can lead to abscesses, cysts, and even permanent nerve damage.

In addition to tooth infections, your salivary glands in the back of your mouth, or submandibular glands, can also cause swelling in your jaw. The glands can become swollen if hard pieces of calculi, or stones, form inside them. The swollen glands will create pressure on the nerves traveling through your lower jaw. Although small stones can go away on their own, large stones require treatment from a dentist. 

Tooth infections and salivary stones are just a couple of things that may potentially cause jaw swelling. If you want relief from your swollen jaw, see an emergency dentist today.

How Will an Emergency Dentist Treat Your Jaw?

To find the culprit behind your jaw pain, a dentist will need to take radiographs, or X-rays, of your entire mouth. X-rays can pinpoint the origin or origins of your pain. The swelling in your jaw could be due to multiple things. 

If a badly decayed tooth caused your swollen jaw, a dentist may extract, or remove, the tooth during the appointment. The swelling in your jaw should subside several days after the extraction. You can speed up your recovery by taking pain medications, eating soft foods, and getting plenty of rest.

If you wish to save your tooth, an emergency dentist may suggest undergoing root canal treatment in the immediate future. During root canal treatment, a dentist will use various tools to remove the infectious soft tissues from your tooth. A dentist will insert gutta-percha inside the tooth to keep it safe from bacteria. If needed, a dentist will place a small cap called a dental crown over your tooth. The crown protects the tooth from further decay.

Don't wait until your swollen jaw becomes worse. Call an emergency dentist to learn more.