Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.
Having swelling develop in the jaw can be extremely uncomfortable and may make everything from talking to eating more difficult. However, what can happen if you don't get help can make matters even worse. If you think that your jaw is swollen and haven't sought help for it, this is what you should know and do.
Many people develop jaw swelling without realizing that it's happening until it becomes severe. However, jaw swelling can have minor symptoms, as well.
Jaw swelling typically starts out with soreness and mild puffiness in the jaw region. As time goes on, you may notice that your jaw looks a little red or visibly swollen. In addition, chewing will likely cause any discomfort or pain to worsen, as the teeth are directly connected to the jaw bone and transfer the energy of the bite down through the jaw until it reaches the bone.
If any of these symptoms are happening to you, you likely have a swollen jaw.
If you haven't experienced any serious injuries recently that could have caused this, like a cut on the face or a blow to the jaw, chances are that something is wrong with your oral health.
Poor oral health can easily result in a swollen jaw. As infections spread through the gums, teeth, or both, they can travel through the soft tissues around the area, as well as the bone supporting your teeth. This is one of the most common causes of jaw swelling that isn't directly linked to an overt injury.
How to Get Help
If you even think that your jaw might be swollen, you shouldn't put off getting help. Waiting too long can allow the condition to progress and worsen to the point where you could be in serious danger.
This isn't the type of condition that you should wait on to see your regular doctor or dentist for. Instead, head straight to an emergency dentist's office. Emergency dentists can see people for drop-in appointments in situations like yours, and going to one could potentially preserve your teeth.
When you arrive, your dentist will ask you some questions and will take an x-ray of the area to look for signs of internal damage. Depending on the cause of your jaw swelling, treatment will vary. If you have particularly damaged teeth, like an infected root, a root canal or tooth extraction may be necessary. If a severe gum infection is to blame, antibiotics will likely be prescribed, and your dentist may drain the area to help reduce the infection.
If it turns out that your jaw is swelling for another reason, your dentist will be able to provide valuable information in the form of an initial examination and x-rays to whomever you visit next for care. To learn more, contact a dentist who provides emergency dental care services.Share