A swollen jaw results from a bacterial infection in the tooth, which can spread throughout the tissues of the mouth and leads to swelling. Toothache can result from a dental abscess where there is severe tooth decay which causes a painful abscess to develop inside the gum.
An impacted wisdom tooth can also cause toothache, which can lead to swelling. Before a dentist can treat the swollen jaw, they will inquire about the symptoms you have experienced and also about your dental history.
Family Dental Care looks at what symptoms relate to swelling and toothache and the potential causes of tooth and gum swelling.
What Symptoms Relate to Toothache and Swelling?
Some symptoms are associated with toothache and swelling. First, persistent pain radiates to the jaws, neck, and ear.
Tooth sensitivity is also a symptom of toothache and swelling. This is because when your tooth becomes sensitive to hot and cold drinks and foods, it indicates a problem with your tooth, and this sensitivity might also be caused by your gums being tender due to swelling.
A foul or bad breath is a symptom that accompanies toothache and swelling. This foul smell arises when the tooth abscess ruptures and a foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid is released into your mouth.
There is also pain when chewing or biting foods. This is associated with swollen gums, which become sore and tender, and therefore biting hard foods leads to a lot of pain in the infected tooth and the swollen gums.
Your teeth can also be discolored and become loose.
This is possible with swollen gums after the bacterial infection leading to periodontitis which arises if you have untreated gingivitis. This infection caused by plaque buildup invades the tissue and bones supporting your teeth, making them loose.
Other systemic symptoms are related to toothache and swelling, like fever and general body weakness.
Potential Causes of Tooth and Gum Swelling
- Tooth Abscess
An abscessed tooth is a bacterial infection that causes a pocket of pus to grow in various tooth regions. It’s also known as a dental abscess. A dental abscess produces moderate to severe discomfort, which can occasionally extend to your ear or neck.
There are three common types of tooth abscesses. First, a periapical abscess affects the tip of the tooth’s root. A periodontal abscess is on the gum next to the tooth’s root. Finally, gingival abscess affects the gums. If left untreated, a tooth abscess can be a life-threatening condition, and it is recommended you look for an emergency dentist near you if you experience a persistent toothache, pus coming out of your gums, and swollen glands under the jaw.
- Wisdom teeth irritation
The gums around the wisdom tooth’s upper crown can get inflamed and swollen, causing excruciating discomfort. Because the swelling under the chin is near the muscles that control your jaw, opening your mouth can be difficult and uncomfortable. Biting down might also be unpleasant due to pressure from your upper teeth pressing on oedema.
When there is inadequate space for wisdom teeth to grow in, they become impacted, leaving the gums vulnerable as the surface breaks, and this exposes the gum to food and bacteria, which can cause gum disease and infections. These infections lead to toothache, decay, and swelling of the gums and jaw.
Gingivitis is a moderate form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness, and swelling (inflammation) of the gingiva, the area of your gum that surrounds your teeth.
When a person does not perform proper oral hygiene, food debris is trapped between the tooth and the gum line. If this debris is not removed, it can cause dental decay and gum disease. This leads to the gum around the tooth swelling. Swelling can also be accompanied by redness and irritation, leading to toothache.
- Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy, can lead to spontaneous bleeding of the gums, toothache, sometimes ulceration, and loss of teeth. Vitamin C is a vital component that aids in absorbing iron and the production of collagen in the body. Tissues will begin to break down if the body does not manufacture enough collagen.
Vitamin C is vital as it will strengthen your teeth and make your gums firmer, preventing bruising and gum problems.