Facial swelling can result from a range of factors including injuries and infections. While it can certainly be unsightly, it can also indicate a dental or medical emergency that requires immediate professional attention. Here’s what you should know about dealing with facial swelling as well as a few tips on how to tell if you need to see an emergency dentist or another medical professional.
What Can Cause Facial Swelling?
In some cases, facial swelling can just be an expected side effect of a recent medical procedure. In this case, it will probably go away on its own if you adhere to your provider’s aftercare instructions. Otherwise, a few reasons for facial swelling include:
A variety of infections can lead to facial swelling. An abscessed tooth can result from bacteria infecting the gums or the area around the root of the tooth, resulting in a severely painful bump that usually contains a bubble of pus. This infection will not get better on its own and requires the attention of an emergency dentist. If facial swelling is caused by a salivary gland infection, your dentist may be able to treat it, but they may refer you to an ENT specialist instead.
Oral injuries can result in broken teeth. The pulp of a broken tooth can become exposed to the oral environment, making it vulnerable to infection, which can lead to facial swelling. This problem can be treated by an emergency dentist. However, if the facial swelling is the result of trauma or lacerations to the lips, cheeks, or other areas outside of the mouth, head to the emergency room.
What Happens During an Emergency Dental Appointment?
Before you head for your emergency dentist’s office, call the front desk to tell them you’re coming and describe your symptoms. You will probably be penciled into an open spot in the schedule and receive instructions for how to treat the issue until then. During the appointment, your dentist will inspect your face, teeth, gums, and mouth, and they may also take X-rays.
If the problem is found to be an abscessed tooth, the dentist will eliminate the bacteria by draining the infection or extracting the tooth before cleaning and disinfecting the affected area and placing a crown on it to protect it from further infection. If the issue is with a salivary gland infection, your dentist might extract parts of the glands, drain the infected area, or prescribe antibiotics.
Mild facial swelling usually isn’t considered a dental emergency and can wait until your next dentist appointment. However, more severe cases require immediate attention. Knowing what to do if it happens can help you reach the best possible outcome of the situation.
About the Practice
Legacy Trails Dental of Plano provides patients in Plano, TX with top-notch dental health services. Led by Drs. Afshin Azmoodeh, Tatyana Romanoff, and Eunyoung Shim, the staff provides excellent oral healthcare in a warm and compassionate environment. Areas of expertise include general restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. If you are experiencing severe facial swelling, dial (214) 227-1000. If you are experiencing mild facial swelling, contact the office online to schedule an appointment.