Why do I have swelling behind my last tooth?

Q. What causes swelling behind the last tooth?

Answered by
Dr. Naveen Thomas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 12, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 25, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have a slight swelling on the skin in my mouth near my back teeth. It is slightly bigger than the other side. It has been there since three days. Though it does not hurt, there is some irritation when I eat or drink. I am not aware whether I bumped it while brushing. If so, then it should have been sore. I do not have any other symptoms. Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I think you are having infection in the area and it got swollen. It may be due to food impaction or decay in the area. You should ask your dentist to either do a small surgery to remove the inflamed flap or just some cleaning of the area might be enough. Take some antibiotic and anti-inflammatory if required.

Hi doctor,

Is it something related to wisdom tooth? Because, I had mine removed as a teen. So, I am worried whether this is normal or not. I did not know how food could get trap in that area and impact it or cause an infection. Will Oral B mouthwash help? Or anything can I do to see if it goes down? Please help.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Mostly it has nothing to do with lower wisdom teeth. Did you extract the upper wisdom tooth on that side? Sometimes, upper wisdom teeth start growing down because of loss of lower tooth and starts hitting gums may cause swelling. I cannot see the upper jaw in the picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Also, we need to rule whether you have any part of the wisdom tooth still remaining. A good x-ray of the area would give a better diagnosis. Still, a mouthwash like you said might be enough to heal the inflammation.

Hello doctor,

I had all four wisdom teeth taken out. I had several x-rays and follow ups since then. Please guide.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Then it is nothing to be worried about. By the look it appears to be not infected. It is just a thick gum formed over the area which can be sometimes asymmetric to other side. You do not have to be worried. Use mouthwash as required. Fibrous growth in that region is common. If it is painful, then take an anti-inflammatory. Else do not bother, a mouthwash is enough.

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