It can be quite unsettling to suddenly notice that one side of your cheek appears swollen.
If you have TMJ disorder, your first thought might be that the temporomandibular joint problem is the cause of the one swollen cheek.
“TMJ can cause swelling on one cheek,” says Dr. Idan Snapir, DDS, of the Dental Smile Center in Van Nuys, CA
“Hypertrophy of the large masseter muscle which is a muscle of mastication will make the cheek swell,” says Dr. Snapir.
Hypertrophy refers to enlargement of a muscle due to generous use. And mastication refers to chewing.
“Clenching or chewing primarily or heavily on one side only can result in swelling of one cheek,” says Dr. Snapir.
If you already have TMJ disorder, you may want to consult with your dentist about the symptom.
If you’ve never been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, it’s wise that you initially have a visit with your primary care physician.
There are many causes of a swollen cheek on one side that are not related to TMJ disorder.
They include (no particular order):
• Infections (of which there are many different types including skin, sinus and eye)
• Allergies (multiple types)
• Benign tumor
• Malignant tumor
• Recent dental work