Swelling in and around the jaw area can have many physiological and physical causes. Jaw swelling is commonly caused by an impacted wisdom tooth, blunt trauma or physiological abnormalities. There are many lymph nodes, sensitive tissues and muscles that can get swollen for a number of reasons as well.
A dental abnormality such as an impacted wisdom tooth is a common cause for the jaw area to swell. The wisdom tooth usually grows into the back molars. Sometimes the tooth can become impacted, meaning that it does not have enough space in the jaw for it to grow in properly. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause the jaw to swell, causing localized pain and damaging nearby teeth. Some individuals choose to remove their wisdom teeth before they have the chance to cause pain and discomfort.
A broken jaw, also called a mandibular fracture, can cause excessive jaw swelling. The jaw can be fractured because of a fall, blunt trauma or excessive pressure around the mouth area. When the jaw becomes fractured, the immune system responds by sending white blood cells into the area, which can cause the area to become tender and swollen. Bone fragments can also become impacted, causing the jaw to become swollen.
If a person is undergoing facial surgery or medical alterations, then it is common for his or her jaw area to become swollen. Liposuction in and around the cheek area, chin surgery and nose jobs are surgical procedures that are commonly connected with transient jaw swelling. Complications during surgery can also cause the face and jawline to swell.
Jaw cysts look like boils or large pimples filled with fluid, and they cause jaw swelling because of their size or because of a secondary infection caused by the cyst. Commonly found under the skin or around the jaw bone, these cysts can also form in the saliva glands. A large cyst can weaken the structure of the jaw, making it more prone to fractures. Cysts that implode can cause inflammation, leading to swelling and oversensitivity.
The large lumps under the jawline are among the body's lymph nodes. When the body goes through an infection or illness, the lymph nodes tend to become swollen, including those located around the jawline. Being an integral part of the immune system, these lymph nodes work in overdrive when the body is under attack by creating beneficial antibodies, and they can become swollen.