Gum Boil – Causes, Treatments, Solutions

Excerpt: A gum boil is a dental abscess that develops on the gums...
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What Is A Gum Boil?

A gum boil is a dental abscess that develops on the gums, they will generally appear as swollen bumps on the gum. The main cause of a gum boil is bacteria, the bacteria can a cause an infection in your gums. If the infection gets bad enough, it can build up under the gums and cause a gum boil. In rare cases, a gum boil may be a symptom of oral cancer.
There are multiple types of gum boils based on the location of the gum boil:

Gingival abscess – Located in the gum line.
Periapical abscess – Located at the root of the tooth.
Periodontal abscess – Located in the supporting tissues of the teeth.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Gum Boil?

The most significant indication of a gum boil is pain, not every gum boil will have pain as a symptom, but most do. If you do feel pain in your gums, you can easily diagnose if it’s a boil or not. Gently probe the area with your finger to see if you feel any bumps, or irregularities. If you do feel a boil, you should immediately make a dentist appointment.
 

Other possible symptoms of a gum boil include:


  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding
  • Pus discharge
  • An earache
  • Swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Nausea
  • A fever

Gum Boil – How Do You Treat It?

Gum boils, like most dental issues are often a result of poor dental hygiene. This is because of the bacteria build-up which will result in the infection. Maintaining healthy, consistent dental habits will help to prevent infection of the gums and other oral structures in your mouth.
 

If you already have a gum boil, the dentist may prescribe you antibiotics, antibiotics main role is to help fight infections from bacteria. To further help fight the gum boil, the dentist will often recommend one of the following, depending on what the situation is with your gum boil:


  • Deep Cleaning – If your gums are found to be the cause of the issue, then this may be a treatment option.
  • Root Canal Therapy – If the bacteria has infected the inner part of a tooth, then root canal therapy will be preferred.
  • Tooth Extraction – If the patient does not have insurance coverage for the root canal, or there are other complications, the tooth may need to be extracted. Dental extraction is typically saved a last resort.
  • Orthopedic Devices – In some cases, it may be due to ill-fitted implanted dentures. The dentist can adjust the device so there is no irritation.

Gum Boil DIY (At-Home) Treatment

If you find a gum boil, we always recommend you get it treated by a dental professional. There are numerous causes for a gum boil that can only be treated by a dentist, or a hygienist. However, if you can’t make it to the dentist in a timely manner, there are a few actions you can take to help with the pain.


  • Salt water rinse – Salt has anti-bacterial properties and can be done any time at home.
    • Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, rinse it around your mouth gently, then spit it out.
  • Garlic – Garlic is anti-bacterial, and may help with the pain.
    • Use fresh cloves of garlic for this. You can take a spoon a some water and crush the garlic in a bowl, and the water slowly until it becomes a paste, immediately apply it directly to the boil.
 
These treatments are not meant to cure most boils, they won’t heal it especially if the cause is an infection the only sure way to treat a boil is to consult a dentist.

How Do You Avoid Gum Boils?

The best way to avoid most gum boils, is to have great dental hygiene standards that you adhere to every day.  The main guidelines we give for a health are as follows:


  • Brush your teeth for up to 2 minutes (30 sec per quarter of your mouth)
  • Floss between every tooth
  • Use mouthwash
 
In some rare cases, your gumboil may be a result of oral cancer. If this is the case, the best oral care routine may not prevent it. But you won’t know if it’s because of oral cancer until a professional is able to diagnose your gumboil. This is partly why we strongly recommend you make an appointment as soon as you discover a gum boil. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Some gum boils may not cause you pain, but you should always get it checked out.

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