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Learn about your mild jaw swelling, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your mild jaw swelling from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Mild Jaw Swelling May Also be Known as:
Jaw a little puffy
Jaw a little swollen
Jaw mildly puffy
Jaw mildly swollen
Jaw slightly puffy
Jaw slightly swollen
Mild jaw puffiness
Slight jaw puffiness
Slight jaw swelling

Top 10 Mild Jaw Swelling Causes

  1. 1.Acute Salivary Duct Stone (Sialolithiasis)

    A salivary duct stone is the most common disorder of the salivary glands (where you make spit). They can range in size from tiny particles to stones that are several centimeters in length.

    You can try treating this at home and going to the doctor if things don't work. You can stay well hydrated, apply warm compresses, and massage or "milk" the duct with the stone in it. Another tip would be to suck on lemon drops or other hard tart candy (called sialogogues, which promote salivary secretions) throughout the day. Pain is treated with NSAIDs like Ibuprofen. If things do not get better or you cannot find the stone, it's best to go to your doctor.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    swelling on one side of the face, swollen jaw, painful face swelling, painful jaw swelling, spontaneous jaw pain
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  2. 2.Infected Wisdom Tooth (Pericoronitis)

    Pericoronitis of the 3rd molar is an infection of the gums surrounding the 3rd molar (wisdom tooth). It almost never happens to normal teeth because wisdom teeth take a long time to break the gums (erupt). It's believed that once the wisdom tooth breaks the surface of the gums, the bacteria in the mouth get into the gums at that spot and cause an infection. This is also worsened by food particles that build up in the area.

    You should go immediately to your dentist, or, if they are not available, go to the nearest urgent care center. There, the dentist/doctor will clean the area, drain any pus, and write for an antibiotic mouth rinse. Penicillin is reserved for severe cases. A follow-up with a dentist is required to see if you need to get the tooth pulled.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    possible wisdom tooth pain, moderate tooth pain, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult, mild tooth pain, severe tooth pain
    Symptoms that always occur with infected wisdom tooth (pericoronitis):
    possible wisdom tooth pain
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  3. 3.Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located in front of the ear, and it connects the jaw to the side of the head. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a painful condition which can be caused by excess tension in jaw mucles, faulty alignment between upper and lower teeth, arthritis in the joint, or injury of the jaw or face.

    You should visit your primary care physician. This is a complex condition to treat, because the causes are not always clear. Treatment may include resting the jaw with a soft diet, pain medications, and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, history of headaches, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, pain in the back of the neck, jaw pain
    Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibiular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder:
    pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Dental Cavity

    Dental cavities are bacterial infections of the tooth. The bacteria produce acid that breaks down the tooth.

    You should visit your dentist within the next 24 hours. Once a toothache presents, the tooth might already be in big trouble, and it needs attention right away.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry mouth, toothache, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult, pain in the top row of teeth, tooth pain that gets worse with hot, cold, or sweet beverages
    Symptoms that never occur with dental cavity:
    spontanenous tooth pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Dehydration

    Dehydration occurs when the body does not have fluid to function properly, because of decreased intake or increased losses like vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, dark urine, fatigue, and dizziness.

    You should go to the emergency room to receive treatment. It is likely IV rehydration will be required.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, racing heart beat, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

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  6. 6.Acute Viral Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus spaces behind the nose and cheeks. These spaces produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If the nose is swollen or if the mucus does not drain, this can block the sinuses and cause pain or infection.

    You can treat your symptoms at home using ibuprofen (for pain) and Tylenol (for a fever). Antibiotics for this diagnosis are not helpful because this is likely a viral infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, cough, sore throat, sinusitis symptoms, muscle aches
    Symptoms that always occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Myofascial Pain Syndrome

    Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic musculoskeletal syndrome caused by trigger points within muscle. Pressure on these points causes pain in the area around the point as well as in other body parts, a phenomenon known as referred pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. This complex chronic condition is often treated with injections and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, spontaneous shoulder pain, pain in the back of the neck, shoulder blade pain, difficulty moving the shoulder
    Symptoms that always occur with myofascial pain syndrome:
    tender muscle knot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Chronic Inflammation of the Salivary Gland (Parotitis)

    The parotid glands are large salivary glands that sit inside each cheek, over the jaw in front of each ear. Chronic recurrent parotitis is a condition that causes repeated cycles of swelling in these glands, causing swelling and occasionally dry mouth or a strange taste.

    You should visit your primary care physician for a thorough physical exam. The doctor may remove fluid from the gland to check for signs of infection, and perform imaging with an X-Ray or Ultrasound to figure out the cause of the recurrent inflammation. Treatment may involve prescription medication, or, in rare cases, surgery.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    dry mouth, swollen jaw, moderate fever, jaw pain
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic inflammation of the salivary gland (parotitis):
    swollen jaw
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

    Acute bacterial sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become infected and, in turn, inflamed, which causes pain and other symptoms. The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the face that are generally clean and empty but when sick collect excess mucus and can become infected.

    You should visit a physician or urgent care facility in the next day or two. It’s likely your sinus infection is caused by a bacterial infection, which requires treatment with antibiotics. In the mean time, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to help with pain & fever.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, muscle aches, sore throat
    Symptoms that always occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    clear runny nose, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Congestive Heart Failure

    Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a form of heart failure that causes fluid to back up into the lungs and other tissue. Symptoms include trouble breathing and edema (swelling of ankles, hands)

    You should schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough at night, shortness of breath on exertion
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Mild Jaw Swelling

  • Q.If you touch the swollen area, is there pain?
  • Q.How long has your jaw been swollen?
  • Q.Are your symptoms worse while eating?
  • Q.Is your swollen area warm and red?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our mild jaw swelling symptom checker.

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Mild Jaw Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced mild jaw swelling have also experienced:

    • 23% Moderate Jaw Pain
    • 11% Mild Jaw Pain
    • 5% Side Pain
  • People who have experienced mild jaw swelling had symptoms persist for:

    • 45% Less Than a Week
    • 37% Less Than a Day
    • 7% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced mild jaw swelling were most often matched with:

    • 79% Acute Salivary Duct Stone (Sialolithiasis)
    • 12% Infected Wisdom Tooth (Pericoronitis)
    • 8% Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder

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Try our mild jaw swelling symptom checker to diagnose your current condition

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Check my mild jaw swelling symptoms

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having mild jaw swelling symptoms

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