What is cheek swelling?

Cheek swelling is a symptom that arises when the cheek develops a lump or becomes larger than normal. It may occur for many reasons, but usually arises from the accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the cheeks.

Mild swelling of the cheeks, which could be due to a recent injury to the face or a recent surgery, may go away on its own and is typically not a problem. In more serious cases when swelling is accompanied by sudden swelling of the face, lips or tongue or severe breathing problems, you should seek prompt medical care, as the cheek swelling may be due to a severe allergic reaction. In some cases, cheek swelling may be related to a condition such as mumps (viral infection of the salivary glands in the neck).

If your cheek swelling is not painful or only mildly bothersome, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and cold compresses may help reduce pain and inflammation. If cheek swelling appears to be due to a cyst, acne or infection, a doctor or other medical profession may be able to provide treatment to alleviate your symptoms.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if your cheek swelling is accompanied by sudden swelling of the face, lips or tongue; a rash; or respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, wheezing, not breathing, or choking. These may be signs of a severe allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, develop a high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) and painful swelling of the jaws, as your cheek swelling may be related to mumps, a serious viral disease, or another serious infection.

If your cheek swelling is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with cheek swelling?

Cheek swelling may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Skin symptoms that may occur along with cheek swelling

Cheek swelling may accompany other symptoms affecting the skin including:

  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Read more about cheek swellingsymptoms


What causes cheek swelling?

Cheek swelling commonly arises from dermatological (skin) conditions, such as excessive oil accumulation which can lead to acne; a cyst (benign sac that contains fluid, air, or other materials); skin infections; or skin growths such as keloids, which develop when scars form excess tissue. Other causes of cheek swelling inclu... Read more about cheek swellingcauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Mouth, Teeth and Oral Health