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Dr. Alex
Dr. Alex, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1609
Experience:  I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
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Have swelling in jaw. The swollen area begins on lower left

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Have swelling in jaw. The swollen area begins on lower left part of jaw. The back tooth has raised area under and the swelling continues edge of the mid section of lower teeth. The side of cheek is also thicker. Been to dentist twice and he doesnt know what it is. Xrays were done and tested teeth for sensitivity to rule out abscess. Right side of mouth is much thicker. Noticed this about two months ago.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Alex replied 3 years ago.
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DR. ALEX :

Great question, let me help you.

DR. ALEX :

so the left is more swollen than the right?

Customer :

Only right side is swollen.

DR. ALEX :

OK. What is going on with the left side?

Customer :

Left side has no issues.

DR. ALEX :

OK. So, are you having tooth sensitivity?

DR. ALEX :

If the cheek is thick/raised, this is normally a sign of "cheek-chewing", which is a result of grinding/clenching during your sleep.

DR. ALEX :

It goes away when the grinding/clenching is controlled. It is best to wear a custom-made nightguard for this.

DR. ALEX :

If the gums around the teeth are raised/swollen, then this is typically a sign of tooth or gum infection.

DR. ALEX :

Tooth infection will show up on an x ray, so if your dentist took x rays and didn't see an abcess, this rules out the teeth.

DR. ALEX :

This makes me think it may be more gum-related. Periodontal disease is infection of the gum tissue that causes raised, inflamed gum tissue

Customer :

Have some on my top teeth but nothing major. My first symptom was a slight pain on the left side. I have only back molar. The teeth prior to that were cracked during a attempted root canal. This area where the two are missing are the mail swelling.

DR. ALEX :

So, your swelling is around missing teeth?

Customer :

Which is now under the back molar. Under the back molar there is even sever swelling. dentist first mentioned salivary gland.

Customer :


DR. ALEX :

There is a good chance that if a root tip was left under the gum tissue from tooth extractions you had done in the past, this would lead to infection around these root tips

DR. ALEX :

I would be surprised if your dentist did not see this on the x-ray though

DR. ALEX :

Have you had trauma to your jaw?

Customer :

I was put on penicillin for 7 days. Took 500mg 4 times a day and made no change.

DR. ALEX :

You very well may have a salivary gland obstruction.

DR. ALEX :

Salivary stones can obstruct a gland (in your case, the submandibular or parotid)

Customer :

No trauma to jaw. Just showed up. The attempted root canals were 20 years ago.

DR. ALEX :

this will cause swelling, and must be surgically treated

DR. ALEX :

OK. I believe the salivary gland is your issue

DR. ALEX :

By process of elimination

DR. ALEX :

Salivary gland swelling can occur when one of the ducts that carry saliva from the salivary gland to the mouth is blocked. Pain may occur, especially during eating.



The most common cause of blockage is a stone. Salivary gland stones are most common in adults; 25% of those with stones have more than one. A stone can form from salts contained in the saliva. Blockage makes saliva back up inside the duct, causing the salivary gland to swell. A blocked duct and gland filled with stagnant saliva may become infected with bacteria. A typical symptom of a blocked salivary duct is swelling that worsens just before mealtime or particularly when a person eats a pickle (a sour pickle's taste stimulates saliva flow, but if the duct is blocked, the saliva has no place to go and the gland swells).


 

DR. ALEX :

To diagnose other causes of swelling, a dentist or doctor may perform a biopsy to obtain a sample of salivary gland tissue and examine it under a microscope.



If a salivary duct is blocked by a stone, a dentist can sometimes push the stone out by pressing on both sides of the duct. If that fails, a fine-wire-like instrument can be used to pull out the stone. As a last resort, the stone can be removed surgically.


 

DR. ALEX :

Anything else I can help you with?

Customer :

My dentist suggested a cone xray to have done as last resort . I went to my regular dr and he said lets wait awhile before going to oral surgeon. It's getting more and more thicker and is almost involving cheek tissue.

DR. ALEX :

An oral surgeon is the best doctor you could go to

DR. ALEX :

They would be able to treat an obstructed salivary gland, or a tumor, if that is what it ends up being diagnosed as

Customer :

Thank you very much. This is making me a little nervous since it is not getting better on its own.

Dr. Alex, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1609
Experience: I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
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