ZocdocAnswersMy jaw, ear, neck and cheek are swollen, what should I do?

Question

My jaw, ear, neck and cheek are swollen, what should I do?

On Saturday (now Tuesday) I got a small lump on the back corner of my jawline. My mum said it would probs be a gland and to keep my eye on it. It quickly grew and My left side of my face went numb and abit of my lips. The swelling goes from behind my ear to my kneck under jaw and today has reached my cheek. I went to my doctors yesterday she said my ear was inflamed but she has never seen ears do that and to go to the dentist. My dentist said looks like a wisdom tooth and has prescribed me 250mg of amoxicillin. 3 a day, 5 days. I started taking them yesterday but over night the swelling has doubled. Its gone to my cheek and under my eye. The swelling around my jaw is hard and it hurts to fully open my jaw. Please someone help me this has never happend to me before and i hear people die from things like this:(

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have been dealing with swelling along your jaw line, that you have seen a doctor about it and were sent to a dentist, and the dentist put you on antibiotics, but you seem to be getting worse and now you have pain with jaw opening, and facial swelling. I am happy to give you some of my initial thoughts about what might be going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment with an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician to get evaluated. They will be able to take a thorough medical history and examine you to determine exactly what is going on. While it is possible that you have a problem with your wisdom tooth (such as a tooth root infection, or impacted 3rd molar), it is also possible that you could have something going on that is not at all related to your wisdom tooth. The fact that there is facial swelling and pain when opening your jaw make me think that there is inflammation (possibly from infection) within the jaw joint, or within the muscles that move the jaw. The ENT should be able to examine you and tell you exactly what is going on.

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