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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Lower Jaw Pain and Intense Swelling

05/05/2011

Question:

I have had some bad luck with teeth lately. It may come with getting older. But it was a huge surprise when I awoke the other morning to what seemed to be an un-even line up of my molars top and bottom on the right side. Continuing through the day it seemed to get worse. The next morning I had to go to urgent care for what they assumed may be an infection. The right side of my mouth lips jaw and neck where very swollen. I looked like Popeye. My vitals were normal. No blood work was done. They gave me a shot in the hip of Rocephin 500mg and a 10 day supply of 875mg Amoxicillin, 2/24hours. In two days the pain is a bit worse and the swelling has not gone down much. I am using ice packs. Would x-rays show if a loose can a tooth or filling fall into deeper into my gum or jaw under the bad tooth? Because it almost feels like a new wisdom tooth is growing in. All four were removed in my teens.

Answer:

Unfortunately, urgent care centers are not staffed by a dental service. What they did was appropriate based upon their scope of expertise. That being said, since you have stated that the swelling is in your neck as well as other areas, I would strongly encourage you to seek a dentist as soon as possible and have a panoramic x-ray taken. This can help rule out infections, foreign objects in the gums and jaw fractures. All of these could be causing your problems.

If you have any problems swallowing or breathing, go to the emergency room immediately.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University