A bump or boil on the gums is a common oral health concern for patients. There can be a few different causes for these bumps, but in most cases they are abscesses caused by bacterial infection.
What Causes Pimples on Gums?
Pimples, also called boils or abscesses, are essentially a buildup of pus. The area may be tender to the touch. Gum boils can be categorized by their location:
- Gingival abscess: An abscess on the gum tissue. This is usually caused by plaque buildup or an injury to the gums.
- Periodontal abscess: An abscess of this kind develops when an infection has spread deeper into the gum tissue. This is sometimes called a “gum boil”.
- Periapical abscess: An abscess at the end of the tooth root. This is usually caused by an infection in the pulp (center) of the tooth.
Some other symptoms that may accompany a pimple on the gums include:
- Swelling in the gum tissue
- Redness or inflammation
- Pain or sensitivity
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Foul-smelling breath
- A fever
Do I Need to See the Dentist for Bumps on Gums?
Generally, yes. Bumps on gums can be painful and should be examined by your dentist to determine the best course of treatment. Untreated gum bumps can lead to more serious infections, so it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible.
How Are Gum Bumps Treated?
The treatment for a gum boil will vary depending on the cause. If the bump is caused by plaque buildup, your dentist may recommend a professional cleaning and good oral hygiene at home. If the bump is caused by an infection, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics.
In some cases, the abscess may need to be drained. This can be done in the dentist’s office or in the hospital, depending on the severity of the infection. After the abscess is drained, you will need to continue with good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly to make sure the infection does not come back.
Home Treatment Options for Gum Boils
One of the most important things to know about treating gum boils is: Do not try to pop or drain the abscess yourself. This can lead to further infection.
There are some home treatment options that may help relieve the pain and discomfort of gum boils while you wait for your dentist appointment. These include:
- Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water several times a day.
- Applying a warm, wet compress to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
These treatments will not resolve the primary cause of the gum bump, and a dentist visit is still needed.
How Do I Prevent Bumps on my Gums?
Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent gum boils. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Be sure to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.
If you have any concerns about bumps on your gums, or any other oral health issues, be sure to talk to your dentist. They can help you determine the best course of treatment.
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