How to treat cheek swelling

Written by cathryn whitehead | 13/05/2017
How to treat cheek swelling
Sinus infection is one cause of cheek swelling. (Colin Anderson/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Swelling can occur in any part of the body, including the cheeks. Cheek swelling can occur for many reasons, including fluid build-up in facial tissues, infection, injury, cellulitis, cysts, sinusitis, allergies, medication side effects and dental problems. When your cheek swells for unknown reasons, it's best to let a doctor diagnose the underlying condition, but you can take steps at home to reduce the swelling while you wait for your doctor appointment.

Raise the head of your bed with 10 cm (4 inch) wood blocks or raise your head with extra pillows when you sleep at night to help drain fluid from your facial area.

Apply an ice pack to your swollen cheek for 20 minutes every hour to reduce swelling. Ice removes heat from tissues in the infected area by tightening the tissue around the blood vessels. Don't leave ice on your cheek for too long, as lengthy exposure may damage your skin.

Drink a lot of water to help flush salt out of your system, decreasing the amount of fluid in your blood vessels. If your doctor determines your cheek swelling is caused by excess sodium, you may receive a prescription for a diuretic that will reduce salt in your system and lower fluid amounts.

Take over-the-counter antihistamines to help reduce swelling in your cheek that may be caused by sinusitis or allergies. Massaging the cheek using firm pressure may also help reduce pain and swelling.

Take a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to reduce pain and swelling. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine can be bought in pill, cream or gel form.


Throw away old make-up that may be infecting your face. Decrease the amount of salt in your diet and exercise regularly to reduce fluid build up.


Seek emergency medical treatment if your cheek swelling worsens or is accompanied by difficulty breathing.

Things you need

  • 10 cm (4 inch) wood blocks
  • Pillows
  • Ice packs
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine

Show MoreHide

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.