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Dr. Cliff
Dr. Cliff, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 591
Experience:  15 years experience private practice, Member American Orthodontist Society, Mini Implant Certified
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What causes swollen cheeks?

Customer Question

I have swollen cheeks inside my mouth. I have gone to my family dr. She said it was allergy, he advised to take Zyrtec for 10 days. 10 Days is up - no changes. What could cause just swollen cheeks inside my mouth?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Cliff replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for using JustAnswer. This could be caused from several things. An allergic reaction is one cause of swelling, but has not gone down with treatment so must look for another cause. One thing this could be is an abscess on one of your teeth. So if you have not been to the dentist lately, you could have a tooth that is infected and causing the swelling. Another thing that could cause this is a salivary duct cyst. The ducts are in the cheeks and open inside the cheek across from the 1st molar. Very rarely are the cysts cancerous. They due cause blockage in the salivary ducts and cause swelling in the cheeks. I have seen a lot of this lately. I would suggest a visit to the dentist so the area can be examined and x ray taken to rule out infection. Other causes of swelling could be from other more serious conditions like kidney failure, renal failure, heart failure, or hematomas. Since you saw your family physician these are probably not the case.

I would be glad to respond if needed. Best of Luck!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I see my dentist regularly and was there less than a month ago and do not feel any tooth pain. As for the salivary ducts - wouldn't my doctor have noticed this upon examination of my mouth. Also - since a few days have passed I also had these little nodules(??) come up under the mucous lining where my lips are. Does this have any bearing on the allergy?

Expert:  Dr. Cliff replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. Yes, your family physician should be able to pick up on this, but I have seen many patients where they are missed. Still would not hurt for an oral surgeon to take a look, since they are well educated about conditions like this in the mouth. The little nodules could be a normal appearance. They are called Fordyce Granules. They are little ectopic sebaceous glands and considered to be a variation of normal anatomy. I don't believe the two things are related.