Facial Swelling is the enlargement of a face that may be due to dental infections or can be after tooth extraction. In medical terminology facial swelling is termed as facial edema. Facial swelling can occur in eyes, lips, cheeks, nose and jaw. Any facial swelling accompanied by dyspnea, distress, fever, redness and irritation should be immediately reported to the dentist.

Causes of Facial Swelling

Cause of facial swelling can be tooth infection, trauma, allergies or sinus infection. The major causes of facial edema or facial swelling are:

1.   Infections

2.   Allergic reactions

3.   Trauma to the face

4.   Other causes

Infections causing facial swelling

1.   Various infections causing facial swelling are bacterial or viral infections. The major organ affected is eyes. 

2.   Other infection that causes swelling in eyes is orbital cellulites and stye. Stye affects the oil glands of the eyes.

3.   Mumps can also bring about facial swelling.

4.   Dental Abscess


Facial Swelling due to Allergy

Various allergies causing facial swelling are allergy due to insect bite like bee sting, hay fever or allergic reaction, allergy to drugs or anaphylactic allergic reaction

Facial Swelling due to Trauma

Trauma like facial burns, oral surgery (dental extraction) or road side accident can bring about facial swelling.

Other causes of facial swelling

Other causes of facial swelling include fluid retention (as seen in pregnancy), obesity, organ failure or severe malnutrition.

Facial Swelling Due to Tooth Ache

When the infection develops inside the tooth, at that time face starts to swell. Tooth infection further may lead to pocket formation or an abscess formation that causes enlargement of lymph nodes at the affected site.

Never try any medications without consultation. It is advised to schedule a visit to dentist as soon as possible if you encounter any such thing. But if in case the dental clinic is not feasible then you can try the following home remedies to get rid of facial swelling.

Home remedies for Facial Swelling due to Tooth ache

Warm saline rinses: Rinse your mouth with warm saline gargles. The mixture can be made by mixing ½ tablespoon salt to 8 oz. of warm water. Do mouth wash rinses every hour.


Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress helps reduce swelling. Make sure not to apply ice directly over the skin as it can damage the skin and increase the pain. You can wrap the ice cubes in a bath towel and then apply over the affected region. The time for application is 20 minutes off and 20 minutes on.

Proper brushing: It is usually seen that after facial swelling, patients stop brushing but it is advised to continue brushing and floss as advised. It removes the food particles and debris collected in the mouth. For detailed info on proper brushing technique you can read the article titled why do we need to BRUSH our teeth?



OTC drugs: Though medications are advised to be taken under strict supervision but you can take OTC medicines like ibuprofen. These are NSAIDs that lowers the swelling and decreases pain. For detailed info on OTC NSAIDs check out the link Common Medications for Dental Pain

Facial Swelling due to Dental Abscess

Dental Abscess is an infection of mouth, jaw or face that generally begins with tooth infection or a dental cavity. The chief cause of Dental Abscess is poor oral hygiene and not undergoing regular dental checkups.


When there is abscess formation, the pus gets accumulated at the site of infection. This brings swelling at the affected region. The preferred treatment for dental abscess is surgical drainage by an oral surgeon.

If untreated, swelling due to dental abscess can block the airways thereby leading to suffocation.

For more detailed info on dental abscess check out the link Abscessed Tooth

Treatment for Dental Abscess

The only treatment for dental abscess is getting it drained by visiting an oral surgeon. To prevent pain and inflammation, OTC drugs like ibuprofen can be taken.

In cases the abscess ruptures by itself, then don’t panic and rinse the mouth with warm water and allow the complete drainage. Also schedule a visit to dentist.

If the abscess is at the root (seen after an X-ray), then RCT is done to treat the abscess and hence facial swelling.


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