Should I be concerned about a bump on my gums?

Concerned about bumps on my gum

Concerned about a bump on your gums? What could it be and what should you do?

A bump on the gums sounds like a draining abscess, which is an infection associated with either the root of the tooth or the gum tissue around the tooth…or both. Bacteria accumulate in the root due to decay, or a dying tooth, or in the gum due to a deep pocket that has collected debris, creating pus. If left there, the bone and tissue break down creating a tunnel in the gum, called a draining fistula. Because the area drains into the mouth and no pressure forms, there will typically be no pain. You may get a foul taste in your mouth and only sporadic pain from an abscessed bump on the gums.  

The tooth and/or gums need to be treated to remove the source of the bacteria.  If caused by the root of a tooth, a root canal is necessary.  If caused by the gum tissue, treatment of the tissue is required. Not taking care of these issues will cause pus to build up creating more destruction to the bone and tooth. The infection can become severe from an untreated bump the gums. 

If the infection is on the lower jaw, it can cause swelling in the floor of the mouth, closing the airway to breathe.  If it is on the upper jaw, the infection can spread to the sinus and then to the brain. Therefore, early treatment is less invasive and strongly recommended!

About the author

Stacey Sparkman Hall, D.D.S.

Dr. Stacey Hall brings her unique outlook on dental care and her personable optimism to the Williamsburg Center for Dental Health. With nine years of solid dental expertise as a dentist in Williamsburg, she decided in early 2011 to branch out and open her own local practice. After completing her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1998, Dr. Hall graduated from VCU’s MCV School of Dentistry in 2002, receiving her D.D.S. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and was awarded member fellowship to the International Congress of Oral Implantology in 2008. She leads the elite Tidewater Dawson Study Club and is a scholar with the interntaionally renowned Dawson Academy. As a Dawson ambassador, Dr. Hall also assists in the training of students in the Dawson Academy. Stacey and her husband Michael have been blessed with three beautiful girls, Lanie, Gracie and Abbie. She is a loyal Virginia Tech Football fan, and enjoys Bible study and missions work.