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Swollen cheek w/hard lump after root canal



Junior member
Oct 28, 2008
I had the first part of a root canal on tooth #2 on Friday, and will be returning next Thursday to finish. The endodontist did the actual root canal, put some kind of antibiotic in there and put a temporary filling in. He said that he'd be checking it thoroughly and then doing the real filling next week. (And of course, I still have to get the crown put on.)

Anyway, immediately after they gave me a shot of anesthesia, my right cheek swelled up and got hard, feeling like a small ball inside. The anethesia seemed to wear off a few hours later in the tooth/gum area, but my cheek still felt numb. By Sunday, it started feeling less numb, but still very tight and the same size. Finally, yesterday, it started going down in size a bit. Then I woke up this morning, and it was huge again and it's really painful to the touch.

I called them up, they had me come in and take a look, and the endodontist pressed all around inside-- pushed on the tooth and the cheek in tons of different ways. There was absolutely no pain in the tooth, but the cheek was really painful. He told me that I probably got a pocket of the anesthesia in the cheek, and he gave me a prescription for Azithromycin and Tylenol with codeine for the pain. I made sure he knew that it had been feeling this way since he first injected the anesthesia, and he said it was possible that I had a minor allergic reaction to it (which would figure, since I'm already allergic to a whole host of things, including the majority of antibiotics). He also told me to put on a cold compress and massage it.

Anyway, I guess I want to know if this sounds right or something that could happen? I don't think it's infected, because the tooth feels absolutely fine-- I've had zero pain in the tooth, not during the procedure and not after. But my cheek, oh my gosh. I feel like my cheek was cut open and a golf ball was placed inside. How long would it take for it to finally go down? (Will an antiobiotic even help if it's just a pocket of anesthesia?!)

This is the very first time I've ever had any dental work done (first time and I jump right into a root canal--err) so this isn't really helping my nerves, lol.
Your dentist probably has the best handle on what's going on, since they have the advantage of having seen things first hand. The likeliest explanation I can come up with is that the needle putting in the local has just nicked a small blood vessel in your cheek, probably causing a small bleed deep in the tissue.
Antibiotics are a reasonable precaution if that's the case, since the area can get infected easily with bacteria carried in on the needle.
What ended up happening? I had a wisdom tooth removed over 2 weeks ago and while there's no pain where my tooth was removed, my cheek has flared up now feeling bruised with a a hard ball-like lump on the side of my face! I did have an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic the third day after the extraction where a rash appeared all over my body but some anti-histamines cleared that up luckily. I'm worried about how long I might have the lump and I don't know that there's much I can really do about it. My dentist says to just wait it out :cry:. It's not painful but it is quite sore feeling bruised.

It would be great to hear what ended up happening to yours in the end!
Hi don :welcome: to the forum.

fizleglitz hasn't been on the forum since May 2010 so they may not be here to answer you.

I think as your dentist has had a look and told you to wait it out it will be okay. It can feel a bit bruised and sore after having a wisdom tooth out.

There is a section on here about wisdom tooth extractions and how people went on after. I hope you feel better soon.

Best wishes to you :butterfly:

If you go to the bottom of this page and click on the box that says your dentistry questions answered a menu comes up scroll down to wisdom teeth and click it.