Many people are surprised to find a bump on their gums. While this may be an unpleasant discovery, a bump on one’s gums is not always a cause for concern. It could be the result of a cyst, an infection, or something else. While they aren’t usually serious, they can be unsightly, and in some cases, they can indicate an underlying oral health problem. Here are a few signs that a bump on your gums needs to be seen by a dentist.
A Bump on Your Gums Could Be the Result of a Cyst
Cysts are small pockets of air, liquid, or other soft materials within someone’s tissue. Dental cysts usually form in the gums around the teeth, most often around the roots of dead or buried ones. Dental cysts grow slowly and are typically of no medical concern unless they become infected. An infected dental cyst may exhibit symptoms such as pain and swelling.
A particularly large cyst in a bad position can put undue pressure on the teeth or interfere with the motion of the jaw. Dental cysts can be removed surgically with ease. Your dentist or doctor may also treat any problematic root tissue during the procedure to keep the cyst from returning.
Sometimes A Bump on Your Gums Can Be Caused by an Infection
Several sorts of oral infections can cause a bump to form on your gums. One of these infections is called an abscess, which often feels like a soft, warm bump and can be very painful. Symptoms of an abscess include:
- The sudden onset of throbbing, worsening pain.
- Pain on one side of the face spreading to the ear, jaw, and neck.
- Pain that intensifies when the patient lies down.
- Swelling and redness around the gums or face.
An abscess in the gums requires immediate dental attention. Treatment may involve treating the infection and draining the area of pus, and it may even require a root canal or tooth extraction.
When Should I See My Doctor?
While bumps on gums are not typically anything serious, they can have certain symptoms that mean you should see a doctor right away. A few of these include:
- Throbbing pain
- Foul taste
- Foul breath
- A sore that hasn’t healed or continues to worsen
- A lump that hasn’t disappeared after a few weeks
- Red or white patches on your lips or inside your mouth
- Bleeding of the sore or lump
If the bump on your gums isn’t causing you any pain or exhibiting any disturbing symptoms, it is probably harmless. However, if it isn’t going away, if it bothers you, or if it begins showing signs of infection, it’s best to see a dentist about treating the problem.
About the Author
Dr. David Magid earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine before completing a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at Columbia University. He serves as a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and has earned Fellowship status in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. His office in West Caldwell, NJ offers general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry. If you are concerned about a bump on your gums, contact the office online or dial (973) 227-9211.