Dental Blog - Las Vegas & Henderson, NV

Dental Blog

Do You Know Why Your Jaw Is Swollen?

A lump or swelling near your jaw can cause your jaw to look fuller than usual. This may make it feel stiff, painful, and tender around the neck and face area, causing discomfort. Some of the potential causes of a swollen jaw include infections, injury to the tooth, and tooth abscess.


Usually, lymph nodes located close to the sight of infection will swell in response to the infection. Thus, if you contract a viral infection such as a common cold or mumps, your jaw will swell in addition to fever, headache, and sore throat. Bacterial infections such as tonsillitis will also cause the tonsils lymph nodes in your neck to swell and will require antibiotic treatment.

Injury To The Tooth

Injury resulting from a fall or blow on your face can cause jaw swelling. If the injury causes your jaw’s dislocation, you might experience difficulty opening or closing your mouth. Injuries, whether accidental or intentional, may cause overcrowding and decay, which may result in swelling. This swelling will usually last for a few days and is manageable with pain medication. If your wisdom tooth fails to erupt or partially erupts, it lifts the gum flap, traps food particles, and bacteria. If untreated, the bacteria may cause infection and swelling to your gums, causing your jaw to swell.

Tooth Abcess

A tooth abcess occurs when bacteria finds its way to your tooth pulp, forming a pus pocket. Tooth decay chipped or broken tooth, and openings on the tooth enamel are some of the triggers of an abcessed tooth. An abcess causes swelling around the gum of the affected tooth and should be drained immediately by a professional to prevent further complications. If untreated, the abcess can spread to the jaw and other tissues. For more information on jaw swelling and treatment, contact our office today.