Lumps and bumps on any part of the body are always going to be a cause for concern, and bumps on the gums are no exception.
Bumpy gums can occur for various reasons, but they aren’t usually a medical emergency. However, some situations might call for further investigation.
In this article, we are going to be looking at some common causes of bumps on the gums to help you recognise when to try and treat yourself, and when it’s time to visit the dentist. Let’s get started.
A gum boil, also known as a gum abscess, appears as a swollen bump that forms on the gum. Gum boils are caused by a build-up of bacteria, which in turn leads to an infection that swells beneath the gums.
This bacteria can come from various sources, such as tooth decay, lingering food particles, or a build-up of tooth plaque. It is rare, but a gum boil can sometimes be a symptom of oral cancer.
There are three types of gum boils, categorised by their placement on the gum. A boil located within the gum line is a gingival abscess, whereas one in the supporting tissues of the teeth is called a periodontal abscess.
The final type is the periapical abscess, which is located at the root of the teeth.
Gum Boil Symptoms
- Swollen and redness of the gums
- Pain in the area of the boil
- Throbbing pain in the mouth and face
- Oral sensitivity to cold and heat
- A pus-like discharge in the affected area
- Bad breath
Treatment for Gum Boils
Treatment for gum boils can be undertaken at home, but there is also treatment that dentists can offer. Let’s first look at the home treatments to try:
- Gargling a saltwater mixture
- Create a paste that consists of mustard oil (half a teaspoon), Kosher salt (half a teaspoon), and turmeric powder (one whole teaspoon), and apply it to the boil
- Applying tea tree oil to the boil
- Applying clove oil to the boil
If these treatments are unsuccessful, it is best to visit the dentist for further investigation to be sure it isn’t being caused by something more serious.
The dentist will be able to assess and treat you accordingly. These treatments can include:
- A prescription of antibiotics to remove the infection causing the boil
- An adjustment to dentures if the boil has been caused by them being poorly fitted.
- A root canal if tooth decay is the culprit
- Deep dental cleaning if your gums are not healthy.
These cysts are made of a fluid-filled sac of tissue that sits within the gum, developing when the pulp or soft tissues inside a tooth die. They look like small bubbles on your gum that are filled with air, liquid, or soft tissue.
Dental cysts are prone to forming around areas where teeth have not had the chance to develop properly, or near to the roots of dead teeth.
These cysts can grow over time gradually, though they don’t tend to cause issues unless they become infected.
Dental cysts are not the same as dental abscesses, which are pockets full of pus that can grow near the root of teeth because of infection from bacteria.
Abscesses tend to be more painful than cysts. Although if dental cysts grow to a large enough size, they can lead to a large amount of pressure being put on your teeth.
This could in turn lead to weakness in your jaw and the bones around your teeth and- in the worst cases- tooth loss.
Dental Cyst Symptoms
- Pressure around your tooth
- Swelling in the gums
- Possible tooth decay near the tooth
- Possible pain in the surrounding tissues and the tooth near the cyst.
Treatment for Dental Cysts
It is best to get dental cysts examined by a dentist, who will be able to offer prompt and appropriate treatment.
After taking either an MRI or an X-ray of your tooth to find the cyst, the treatment might involve the following:
- Tooth Extraction
- Endodontic Therapy
These sores are incredibly common, harmless, and easy to treat, but that doesn’t make them any less of a nuisance!
Canker sores are small and quite painful bumps that can grow on the gums, but also on the lips, soft palate, tongue, and inner cheeks.
It isn’t known exactly what the cause of canker sores is, but some experts believe that they can develop when the immune system within the body accidentally attacks the mucosal cells that can be found in the lining of the mouth.
Symptoms of Canker Sores
- Pain when drinking or eating
- Tenderness ranging from mild to severe
- Yellow or white patches on the gums with a red lining
- Flat bumps or raised bumps on the gums
Treatment of Canker Sores
Most canker sores heal by themselves after about a week or two, but there are ways to help with the pain should you be struggling:
- Over the counter painkillers
- Avoid spicy foods
- Gargle with salt water
Other Gum Bumps
Some other kinds of gum bumps involve the following:
- Mandibular Torus: Bony lumps that can appear in the lower or upper jaw
- Oral Fibroma: Non-cancerous lumps formed on injured or irritated gums.
- Pyogenic Granuloma: Blood-filled lump on the gums.
- Oral Thrush: White bumps and patches on the gum as well as the tongue, roof of the mouth, or the inner cheeks.
- Dental Abscesses: An accumulation of pus that grows on the gums surrounding a tooth.
- Oral Cancer: A cancerous growth that can occur in any part of the mouth or upper area of the throat.
If you find that the bump on your gum is causing a great deal of pain or discomfort, isn’t healing with home treatments, or is getting larger, make sure that you consult your dentist so that they can treat you as quickly and efficiently as possible.