My tooth hurts and now my cheek is swollen.

Hello,

I have had a toothache for a few weeks. Now I feel like my cheek looks swollen. Could my tooth pain have anything to do with the swelling?

- Linda in Nebraska

Linda,

From what you described it sounds like you may have a tooth infection and now an abscess has formed. So, yes, it is likely that the toothache is related to the swelling of your cheek. It is always difficult to make a diagnosis without having seen your case in person, but it sounds like the tooth has a deep cavity in it or a crack. Either way the decay has reached the inside of the tooth. This is why the tooth hurts. Other symptoms could be sensitivity to hot and cold and pain while chewing. The infection doesn’t have anywhere to go once inside the tooth so it moved back toward your gum which caused the abscess. You don’t want the infection to spread into your jaw or other areas of your body. So it is important that you schedule a dentist as soon as possible. Many dentists leave room in their schedule for emergency dentist appointments so you don’t have to wait around for a couple of weeks.

The dentist will first treat the infection with antibiotics. It is imperative that you take the antibiotics as prescribed even if it starts feeling better right away. This will take care of the abscess. If your tooth has a crack that has reached down into the root, it will need to be extracted. Than, a dental implant or dental bridge could be used to replace the missing tooth.

If the tooth’s decay has made it into the pulp, than you will need a root canal treatment. After this procedure is done, you will need a porcelain crown to protect the tooth from further damage. This is because the blood stops flowing to the tooth which makes it more susceptible to breaking. A dental crown will protect it.

If you have been putting off going to the dentist, ask about sedation dentistry. There are sedation dentists that specifically cater to cowards with a gentle approach. Many will understand how fear or anxiety has kept you away and will be gentle and not make you feel bad about it.

Hopefully this answers your question.

This post is sponsored by Mesa dentist Desert Family Dental.