Your jaws and your teeth work together to allow you to bite, grind, and chew solid and harder foods like carrots. Because of the action of your jaws, saliva, and teeth, digestion starts in your mouth. Also, your jaws are vital in delivering minerals from your body to your teeth. Because of the jaw’s importance, it may sometimes become inflamed due to various dental issues, which should make you visit your Woodlands dentist. Apart from the swelling of your jaws, other symptoms you may have are difficulty opening your mouth, painful chewing, bulging lymph nodes in your neck, fever, and fatigue.

Consequently, below are the potential tooth-related causes of a swollen jaw.


Jaw tumors and cysts

Cysts can occur anywhere in your body, including in your jaws. When you have a tumor in your jaw, you will feel it as a lump.

There is a high chance that your jaw cyst does not come with a harmful effect and may not show any symptoms. However, if the growth is painful for an extended period, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Such a tumor can cause an infection and tooth weakening.

A jaw cyst may be due to gum infection, tooth loss, rough teeth surface, unhealthy diet, dentures that do not fit comfortably, or excessive drinking and smoking.

Dental abscess

When you have a dental abscess, you have a collection of pus in different locations of your tooth. For instance, the infection and pus due to bacteria may attack the root’s tip and gums. The collection of material indicating an infection may result from decaying soft tissues of your gums or tooth.

Other symptoms of the dental condition you are likely to experience include severe headache felt on your jawbone, painful biting or chewing, inflamed face, and foul smell from the mouth.

Your dentist can eliminate the underlying cause of the infection and safeguard you against further potential dental problems.


The condition refers to the infection and inflammation of the gum tissue adjacent to your wisdom teeth.

Pericoronitis happens because your wisdom tooth fails to emerge or partially emerges. That leaves your gum flaps, covering your tooth, susceptible to accumulation of food debris and breeding of harmful bacteria. Consequently, you may have to deal with irritation and the development of an infection that makes your jaws appear to swell.

Despite your best efforts, it may be impossible to prevent pericoronitis. However, you can minimize the chance of an attack by frequently brushing and flossing, relying on antibacterial mouthwash, and following other strategies that deliver healthy oral hygiene.

TMJ syndrome

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint sitting between your lower jaw and the temporal bone, which houses and protects your ears’ delicate inner and middle parts. Since it connects your jaw bones and promotes lateral jaw movement, if it suffers damage or injury because of issues like misalignment of the jaw and arthritis, your jaw will appear swollen.

Infections like tonsil inflammation and mumps resulting from viruses and bacteria may also cause jaw inflammation.

Contact Scott Young, DDS, today for specialist diagnosis and treatment of your oral issue.