What is this bump on my gum?

By October 9, 2019Teeth & gums

Although it may ring alarm bells, a bump on your gum is usually harmless. Common culprits include a bacterial infection or a build-up of excess plaque.

Sometimes though, there could be other offenders. Here are some common reasons why there could be a bump on your gum.

A dental cyst

Cysts are small bubbles usually filled with liquid, air or other soft materials. They form around the roots of dead or buried teeth. Dental cysts rarely cause symptoms but if they become infected, they start to swell and become painful. If you suspect you have a cyst, it’s important to let your doctor know. If a cyst is large, it could put pressure on your teeth and weaken your jaw over time.

How is it treated?

Dental cysts can be removed with simple surgery. Your doctor will remove the cyst and treat any tissue that may cause it to grow again.

Abscess

If you develop a bacterial infection in your mouth, you could end up with a periodontal abscess. An abscess feels like a soft, warm, painful bump in your mouth.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain on one side that spreads to your jaw, ear and neck.
  • Throbbing pain that comes on suddenly and gets worse over time.
  • Redness and swelling on your face and gums.

How is it treated?

If you think you have an abscess, see your dentist immediately. Any pus in the growth will be drained and the abscess will be removed. If the infection is severe, a tooth may need to be removed too.

Tumour

A tumour is a kind of bump that can form on the gums, and the sides of your cheeks, tongue and lips. It’s an abnormal swelling and the most common kind is called fibroma. It usually forms if you injure your gum or if it’s irritated from oral fittings like braces or dentures. They aren’t usually painful and look like hard, smooth lumps or skin tags.

Read  Why is the roof of my mouth sore?

How is it treated?

Fibromas don’t require treatment in most case. If it grows large though, see your doctor so he can remove it.

Canker sore

If you have a growth in your mouth with white or yellow spots and redness around it, you could have a canker sore. Cankers sores are small mouth ulcers that can be found at the base of your gums. Canker sores are usually harmless but often painful. They’re usually raised, tender bumps that are especially sore when you eat or drink.

How are they treated?

Canker sores often heal on their own so treatment isn’t necessary. Over-the-counter ointments or gels can help with the pain. Ask your pharmacist for help.

Oral cancer

Although most mouth bumps are generally harmless, in severe cases, a bump could unfortunately mean cancer. Oral cancer can form in any part of your oral cavity, including your gums. It may look like a small growth, lump or thickened skin.

Some symptoms:

  • A bleeding sore.
  • Tongue pain.
  • Jaw pain.
  • A white or red patch on your gums.
  • Loose teeth.
  • A sore throat and pain when swallowing.

How is it treated?

If you suspect you could have oral cancer, talk to your doctor immediately for treatment. To test if the bump is cancerous, your doctor will take a sample of tissue from the bump and check it for cancer cells. If it’s cancer, treatment could include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

See your doctor immediately if you have a mouth bump along with:

  • Throbbing pain.
  • A sore that won’t heal.
  • A fever.
  • A foul taste in your mouth.
  • A lump that doesn’t clear up after a few weeks.
  • Bleeding.
  • Red or white patches.

References: