Table Of Contents
- Pimple On Gums – What It Actually Is And What’s It Made Of
- Causes Of Pimples On Gums
- Symptoms – What To Look For
- Diagnosis – When To See A Doctor
- Gum Pimple Treatment And Prevention
“Doctor, I have a pimple on my gums? – You mean your face? – No, it’s on my gums, please help me!” This is not a sort of a conversation you will hear often, but it does happen; it is possible to have a pimple on gums.
The location of this pimple will vary (sometimes it’s in front of the teeth, sometimes behind), so will its size, as well as the pain intensity (many patients don’t feel any pain at all). And this is what scares most people, mixed symptoms can indicate various conditions so pinning it to one can be quite a challenge.
This is why we are giving you this article – we are going to cover every possible cause of gum pimples, from infections to smoking, talk about what exactly is this so-called pimple, how to diagnose it yourself, and when is the right time to see a doctor!
Pimple On Gums – What It Actually Is And What’s It Made Of
The medical term for this pimple is an abscess and is not to be confused with a pimple on your skin caused by clogged pores. An abscess is basically a collection of puss that has built up in a tissue over a certain amount of time. Before the abscess fills up with puss, the area around it is red, sore, and often tender (painful) to touch. When an abscess is on the skin, you can often catch it in its early stages due to these symptoms, but when it inside your mouth, you might miss these first warning signs.
But there is no need to worry just yet; the doctor can still help you treat and get rid of it. You can also address it yourself, but whatever you do, never pop it!
Even if you do not decide to pop it, though, this gum pimple can pop on its own. If it does, you should rinse out your mouth immediately and have your doctor examine it. Popping the pimple on gums will not solve your problems because you will still be left with a gaping hole in the damaged tissue that needs to be addressed before the situation gets any worse.
Causes Of Pimples On Gums
When it comes to pimples on gums, there are a lot of different causes. Most common ones are infections, but to cover this topic as best as we possibly can, we’re going to give you an exhaustive list of all conditions known to have caused these pimples in the past.
By far, the most common cause of gum pimples is an oral infection – poor hygiene and dental problems will lead to an infection, and the infection will result in an abscess, it’s a vicious cycle.
Here are some of the leading causes of these infections:
Viral And/Or Bacterial Infections
Viral infections such as ulcers, will usually not last too long and will go away on its own. But, a bacterial infection can last significantly longer, especially in those with poor oral hygiene.
Poor oral hygiene will result in food leftovers between the tooth and the gum and allow the bacteria to thrive. Also, if you are wearing dentures, you should regularly remove and brush them to avoid bacteria build up.
Naturally, our body will make an attempt to fight these bacteria and, in the process, for a white pimple filled with puss.
Periodontal (gum) diseases can range from a minor gum inflammation, to a more serious conditions where teeth are lost! They are more common in older individuals, but also in those who don’t brush their teeth regularly.
This may come as a shock to you but, at any give time, there are between 100 and 200 different species of bacteria living in ur mouth (source: Wikipedia – Oral Ecology)! As the time progresses, they form a residue on our teeth we call “plaque.” The longer plaque is on our teeth, the greater chance we will develop some gum disease.
Two primary gum diseases are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation caused by a plaque build up, and its symptoms are redness, swelling, and bleeding. If gingivitis is not treated in time, it will progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more severe condition where gums pull away from the teeth and form small “pockets.” Our body will, of course, fight this infection and puss-filled gum pimples may appear. In more severe cases, the tissue around the tooth will be destroyed, and the tooth will fall out.
Believe it or not, some people are so terrified of the dentist (and the pain they may have to endure), they refuse to see him even when faced with tooth decay. Of course, there are those who just can’t afford a dentist…
If left untreated, this decay can spread to the adjacent teeth and penetrate deeper into the tooth itself. Once it goes all the way through and reaches the nerves, it causes an infection. As a result of this infection, our body will attempt to drain the puss through the gums and often for a pimple between the root of the tooth and the gum.
This condition will, of course, not go away on its own. The decay needs to be removed and teeth fixed. Once this is done, pimple on your gum will get smaller and smaller and eventually go away completely.
A pimple on gum after a tooth extraction, implantation, or filling is a good thing. This means that the wound is healing and draining. In this case, this gum cyst may be reddish (filled with blood) or just filled with fluid (not puss).
The cyst will not hurt, as it is just a natural process and the infection is not present. It will go away on its own after the wound is completely healed, but there have been cases where it didn’t go away and gotten harder. This is not a cause for concern as it can be removed surgically.
If you start experiencing pain, on the other hand, you should get it checked out as it may indicate something is wrong.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a common procedure, used to treat millions of teeth each year.
Inside the tooth, underneath the hard layer called dentin, there is is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves to nourish the tooth as it grows. Once it’s all grown up, they are no longer needed. This is good for us because the endodontist (dental expert for the soft tissue on the inside of the teeth) can remove the inflamed pulp and seal the root.
As with implantation and extraction, a small pimple on gums can appear as a sign of a healthy recovery process. These cysts are painless and should you experience pain; you should reschedule with your dentist.
Smoking is not directly linked to gum pimples, but it will make you more susceptible to gum diseases in general.
It is recognized that smoking will weaken your immune system, thus making it harder to fight these diseases. Not only that, once you develop a pimple on your gums, smoking will prolong its healing process.
In short, if you smoke you have twice the risk of developing gum diseases, they will last longer, and treatment may not work as well for you, as compared to non-smokers.
Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeast. This type of yeast infection we are referring to is also called “thrush,” and develops in the mouth or the throat. Some of the most common symptoms of this disease are white spots inside the mouth and on the tongue, sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
Canker sores are small, painful, reddish sores located inside the mouth.
These sores are extremely contagious but pose no serious health threats. It is advised you see a doctor if these sores last more than 3 weeks and are accompanied by fever.
Cold sores are itchy, painful clusters of red blisters around the mouth. Though they generally form around the mouth, they can sometimes spread inside the oral cavity. They are also highly contagious.
Before you begin to panic, note that gum cancer is extremely rare. Keep in mind that cancer bumps are harder, may not be painful, may bleed and get enlarged.
Symptoms – What To Look For
Though we generally covered all the symptoms associated with pimples on gums, it can’t hurt to go over all of them:
- Bad taste in mouth
- Soreness and tenderness of the affected area
- Bleeding gums
- Pus drainage accompanied by a foul smell
- Fever and/or swollen lymph nodes (indication of an infection)
- Pain while chewing
- Fatigue and a general feeling of discomfort
Also, it’s worth mentioning that these cysts/pimples/abscesses can present themselves without pain.
Diagnosis – When To See A Doctor
We’ve covered most (if not all) situations where you can develop pimples on gum, and you saw that there are some cases where they are a part of the natural healing process and will go away without any medical treatment.
However, there are also those that do require medical attention. Here are some instances where you should seek professional help:
- A pimple that does not go away after several weeks (of home treatment)
- If your gums bleed for longer periods of time
- Long-term swelling and tenderness
- Pus filled pimples
- Patches of red that does not go away
Of course, you are not a dentist and, in most cases, you will not be able to diagnose your condition with 100% certainty. This is why we advise making an appointment at first sign of trouble. Your dentist will then be able to diagnose you using his expert knowledge, experience, and the help of modern technology – an X-ray will show the location of the abscess concerning the root and the extent of the damage (if there is damage to be seen).
Gum Pimple Treatment And Prevention
Treating a pimple on gums may require professional help, but it doesn’t mean you can’t address it in the comfort of your home, as an immediate action. You probably know most of these actions yourself, but we will go through these nonetheless:
- Gargling with salt water – this is one of the easiest and probably the oldest ways to battle infections and preserve the health of your oral cavity. The mix: it is recommended you add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water and gargle couple times a day.
- Brushing properly – you need to brush your teeth properly, 3 times per day, 3 minutes per session.
- Flossing – flossing is (believe it or not) a controversial topic among some of my friends as they think that flossing will damage your teeth. But this can’t be further from the truth (unless you accidentally cut through your gums). Flossing will help you get rid of leftover food between your teeth and also remove that nasty plaque we talked about earlier.
- Tea bags – applying a tea bag directly to your cyst may soothe it and relieve pain.
Of course, the outcome of your home treatment will largely depend on the underlying cause of the pimples on your gums. If your tooth is decaying, for example, gargling with salt water won’t help one bit. You need just to use common sense here.
As for the conventional therapy, your dentist will use, it involves antibiotics to soothe the infection and relieve pain, and an adhesive dental gauze to drain the puss. Before any invasive treatment, they need to make sure your infection is completely gone.
After the infection is gone, you might need to get the tooth removed, see an endodontist to address the root canal problem or get some other procedure done to ensure those nasty pimples on your gums never come back!
If you have any more questions regarding the topic of “pimple on gums,” feel free to leave a comment below and we will address it as soon as possible.