Cellulitis in Mouth, Lips, Cheek, Throat, Jaw and Dentals: Symptoms, Treatment

If a doctor is presented with a patient exhibiting symptoms of a red face or flushed rosy cheeks, his mind will be ranging over more than just sunburn or embarrassment. There are many facial disorders and diseases to consider and rule out both internal and external to the mouth.

Cellulitis in mouth

There are potentially between 800-1,000 bacteria in the human mouth at any given moment although on average, most people have a resident population of approximately 100. These different species form plaque, the yellowish/white gunk that sits between and on the edges of the teeth. A human bite is deemed potentially fare more lethal than a dog bite.

The diagnosis of cellulitis in the mouth is based on symptoms and by discounting other possible contenders. One undesirable and harmful micro-organism prevalent is streptococcus which causes tooth decay and can, in the right circumstances, create cellulitis in the mouth. Infection can lurk in the gums (periodontal), the palate or the soft tissues of the cheek. Causes can be as simple as an overactive toothbrush performance or biting your tongue or cheek in error whilst chewing food. Treatment measures are implemented promptly as cellulitis can spread and briskly develop into a systemic and serious disorder requiring hospitalisation.

Should a doctor or dentist investigate dental cellulitis?

Probably a dental surgery or orthodontist is the best call as infection presenting as dental cellulitis is in all probability caused by a tooth abscess. Pus collects at the top of the tooth root just below the jawline gaining entry through a hairline crack or cavity. Initially, before the infection builds, you may only notice a slight sensitivity to hot or cold drinks or if you bite down hard on something like a nut or brittle toffee. It emerges as a swelling or lump which spreading to the face if left untreated as dental cellulitis exhibits rapid progression. Oral antibiotics are a given and the dentist will source the entry point or fracture in the troublesome tooth, flush it and repair it. Sometime, the surgeon will insist on removing the infection in its entirety before sealing a rift.

Good oral hygiene is all-important when it comes to keeping a balance and regulated environment for bacteria in your mouth. Brush twice daily, floss with either soft, gentle thread or dental picks. Use an antimicrobial mouth wash.

What a cheek! Cellulitis in your cheek

Some people naturally have a high face colour, particularly if they are of Northern European descent. But reddening of the cheeks can flag the precursor of a problem. Cellulitis in your cheek may signal a superficial cut, possibly infinitesimal, lying undetected, a scrape or sting or infected pimple or internally, a tiny wound – we put a lot of things in our mouths every day! A salivary gland infection or Sialadenitis is popularly generated by the Strep bacteria. Blocked salivary ducts lead to reduced lubrication in your mouth and this adversely affects bacteria levels making it easier for infection to take hold. The largest of the three key pairs of glands are called the Parotid and are located at the top of your cheeks just below the ears. Infection here is labelled Parotitis. Within the perfect climate of the mouth, infection moves rapidly and can morph into cellulitis in the cheek.

Considering lip smacking lip augmentation? Be aware of the risk of cellulitis of the lip

Speech, eating and kissing, how important are lips to human life and engagement. They are such a priority, we decorate them with pretty coloured lipsticks, glosses, labrets (lip rings) and we even consider lip augmentation surgery to enhance them so they are plumper and fuller. It’s easy to see how infection caused by bacteria from the mouth (or other people’s) can take hold and develop into full-blown cellulitis of the lip.

Sore, painful and highly visible, there is nothing that will make you feel as self-conscious. Lumps after a filler procedure are routine, commonly bruising but if they persist or are sufficiently defined to feel palpable or increasing, there may be infection present. There is a range of complications possible after lip lifts so always ensure you use a reputable clinic that has proper industry approval. Local or state health authorities often have useful guides to help you choose your injector and avoid rogues.

These ‘before and after’ pictures illustrate what can go wrong, compare them with the images of a straight infected lip that has not had a cosmetic procedure.

Cellulitis in the throat

This is an easy consequence of another, possibly viral, respiratory infection of which there are many seasonal versions. Cellulitis in the throat can also develop around the tonsils. It will present on clinical evaluation, very much as a simple sore throat with inflammation, loss of voice, coughing and swollen glands. It is crucial to determine whether this is viral and therefore unresponsive to antibiotics or whether there is actual bacterial infection present. In the latter case, oral antibiotics are prescribed.

Cellulitis within the jaw

Likely causation is a dental problem within the arcade or externally, cellulitis in the jaw can follow a primary infection spreading from the ears or, an associated ear malady.



Article References:

  1. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/oral-bacteria-what-lives-in-your-mouth-0513
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-human-bites/basics/art-20056633
  3. https://www.sepsis.org/sepsis-and/dental-health/
  4. https://www.mountnittany.org/articles/healthsheets/35243
  5. https://dentistry.uic.edu/patients/oral-hygiene
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/salivary-gland-infections#causes
  7. http://www.jcasonline.com/article.asp?issn=0974-2077;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=60;epage=66;aulast=Vedamurthy