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man with painful tooth needs to see an Emergency Dentist Boca Raton

What Should I Do if I Have Painful Swelling in My Mouth or Face?

November 13, 2023

Few experiences are as uncomfortable and concerning as waking up to find painful swelling in your mouth or face. This unexpected development can be distressing and may leave you wondering about the cause and, more importantly, what steps to take to address it promptly.

When faced with such a situation, it’s essential to seek the expertise of an emergency dentist in Boca Raton who can diagnose the issue accurately and provide immediate relief. Ignoring or delaying treatment for painful swelling can lead to increased discomfort and potential complications.  

young woman suffering from tooth pain looking for an Emergency Dentist Boca Raton

What Are Possible Causes for Painful Swelling in the Mouth or Face?

Painful swelling in the mouth or face can have various potential causes, each requiring specific attention and treatment. Here are four common examples, along with explanations:

1. Dental Abscess:

  • A dental abscess is a localized collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection. It often results from untreated dental issues such as cavities or gum disease. When the infection reaches the root of a tooth or the surrounding gum tissue, it can lead to severe pain and swelling. 
  • The abscess forms as the body’s immune system attempts to combat the infection. Pus accumulates at the site, causing pressure and inflammation. The pain is typically intense and throbbing; the swelling may be accompanied by redness and warmth.
  • Treatment involves draining the abscess, addressing the underlying dental problem, and sometimes prescribing antibiotics to control the infection.

2. Allergic Reaction:

  • Allergic reactions to food, medication, or dental materials can manifest as painful facial or oral swelling. These reactions can occur suddenly and may be accompanied by other symptoms like hives, itching, or difficulty breathing. 
  • Swelling caused by an allergic reaction can vary in severity. It may affect the lips, tongue, cheeks, or throat, leading to discomfort and difficulty speaking or swallowing. 
  • Immediate medical attention is crucial in severe cases, as anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, can occur. Identifying and avoiding the allergen is essential to prevent recurrence in less severe cases.

3. Trauma or Injury:

  • Physical trauma or injury to the face, mouth, or jaw can result in painful swelling. This can happen due to accidents, falls, sports injuries, or blows to the face. 
  • Swelling from trauma is typically localized to the affected area and may be accompanied by bruising and pain. Fractured or dislocated teeth, broken bones, or soft tissue injuries can contribute to the swelling. 
  • An immediate evaluation by a healthcare provider or emergency dentist is essential to assess the extent of the injury and determine the appropriate treatment, which may include imaging, sutures, or dental repair.

4. Infection or Oral Ulcers:

  • Viral or bacterial infections in the oral cavity can lead to painful swelling. Additionally, conditions like oral ulcers (canker sores) can cause localized swelling and discomfort. 
  • Symptoms like fever, redness, and pus drainage may accompany infections. Oral ulcers typically present as round or oval sores with a white or yellow center and a red border. 
  • Treatment for oral infections may involve antibiotics, antiviral medications, or antifungal agents. Oral ulcers often resolve on their own but can be managed with topical medications for pain relief. 

Emergency Dentist Boca Raton checking patient's tooth

Need to See an Emergency Dentist in Boca Raton?

Painful swelling in your mouth or face should never be ignored. Instead, take immediate action by seeking the expertise of an emergency dentist. 5th Avenue Dental is here to assist you during dental emergencies, providing timely care and relief. Don’t let discomfort persist; contact us without delay to address your painful swelling and regain your oral health and comfort.