While you were brushing your teeth before bed, you notice the presence of an unusual bump on your gums. Does this sound familiar? If so, you might feel unsettled by this newfound condition, especially if you’ve never seen anything like it before. Although this situation isn’t something to panic about, there are cases where this symptom can be an early warning sign of a serious oral health issue. Keep reading to learn about four common reasons you may have a bump on your gums and when it’s best to contact your dentist!
Reason #1: Canker Sore
If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain from a gum bump, then it could be a canker sore. These are small ulcers that develop on the soft tissues of your mouth. Though researchers haven’t been able to determine the exact cause for them, many have linked the condition to poor oral hygiene and stress. While canker sores are typically harmless, they can be significantly uncomfortable and may become infected if left untreated. They often heal by themselves in a week or two, and you can easily manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications, oral rinses, and topical numbing agents (like Orajel).
Reason #2: Oral Fibroma
This is one of the more common causes of bumps on gums. Oral fibroma is a noncancerous lump that generally forms when your gum tissue has been inflamed due to clear aligners, retainers, dentures, or other oral appliances. This condition is usually unproblematic and won’t be detrimental to your overall well-being. Should it become an issue, however, your dentist, doctor, or specialist can surgically remove it.
Reason #3: Periodontal Abscess
Are you also experiencing a severe toothache near your gum bump? Does the sensation gain intensity when you lay down, spread throughout your mouth, or worsen when you bite down? If so, you may have a periodontal abscess. Bacteria that accumulate near your roots can allow for pus to collect under your gums, developing a small lump. On top of being painful, these bumps can also increase your risk of severe complications.
Reason #4: Oral Cancer
While this is rare, a bump on the gums can indicate oral cancer. Other symptoms include unusual red, white, or other colored patches of tissue, pain in the mouth, random bleeding, and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Your dentist can scan for this condition during dental checkups and provide treatment to stop it early on.
When You Should Call Your Dentist For Help
Although a bump on the gums isn’t always a dental emergency, make sure to visit your dentist immediately if you experience the following:
- Fever, fatigue, or swelling in your mouth
- A foul taste in your mouth
- Intense, throbbing, or persistent discomfort or toothache
- The bump doesn’t vanish after three or more weeks
- Bleeding or discharge around the lump
Keeping an eye on the condition of your gums is essential for preserving your oral health. Call your dentist if you notice any concerns, and they’ll be glad to help!
About the Author
Dr. Thomas Neslund earned his dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. He’s also a member of several groups like the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He offers a wide variety of high-quality treatments, including dental checkups/cleanings, periodontal therapy, and emergency dentistry. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call 717-258-5455.