Gum in fections are common especially if good oral hygiene is not practised. Tooth abscesses, for example are known to cause white pimple-like bumps on gums.
Most people experience these as symptoms of bone or tissue infection after root canal, tooth extraction, implants or after filling.
The small growth can have no pain, may appear white, small, yellow, or even as pus spots. It is important to know what to do at home to ease their pain (if any) and when to see your dentist.
Can you get a pimple on your gums?
Pimples are caused by clogged pores on the skin. These are occassioned by excessive sebum oil, dirt and sweat that block the tiny pores, leading to an infection.
The infection erupts as a small white or yellow bump that may be pus-filled. While some of the spots may appear as normal pimples, on your gums, they are more of mouth bumps.
Mouth pimples are called so because the small bumps and spots on gums appear as small whiteheads and acne zits but on the soft tissues of the mouth.
Such spots may not be painful, but they should not be ignored because they are almost always a sign of infection. If you see one above or below your tooth, make an appointment with a dentist.
Signs of raised bumps, spots, dots or sore patches on gums are common after an implant, after tooth extraction and even when suffering from periodontal disease.
Cellulitis, mucoceles, tooth abscesses, periodontal disease, infections after tooth implants and tooth extractions, cold sores, STDs such as herpes, cancer and even tooth decay are all the common causes of gum abscesses.
The inside of the mouth can easily get hurt and show signs such as blood blisters, sores and swelling. Painful swellings in the mouth are common then, and may be filled with pus when infected.
In other instances, there is no pain experienced even with the oral bumps. Any of the following could be the cause.
1. After root canal
After root canal, it is common to get a small raised spot that may appear even during the preparation stages of the process. This abscess is likely to have a pus discharge or some fluid.
According to East Coast Endodontics, the pimple-like spots on gums after root canal are a sign of healing, and should clear on its own.
Painful ones should however be reported to the dentist for proper treatment and relief of pain. If it does not disappear on its own after a week or about 10 days, report to your dentist or endodontist.
2. Tooth or gum abscess
Another cause is abscesses around the tooth or gums. But what is a tooth abscess?
The Better Health Channel, writing about oral conditions in babies and young children describes it as an “infection around the root of the tooth, normally associated with tooth decay.”
If your tooth hurts or causes pain, it could be this.
These abscesses show signs such as swellings, zit-like bumps on gums. Your cheeks can also swell, or one side of the face can get swollen, especially the side with the infected tooth.
Home remedies for abscesses may include saltwater rinses, baking soda rinses, tea bag compresses and even some over-the counter medications.
However, these remedies might not be so effective and will only relieve the inflammation or pain on the gum line.
3. Tooth extraction or filling, implant
Did you complain of pimples in your mouth after wisdom tooth extraction? Have you had your tooth pulled, extracted, filled or had a tooth implant recently?
The healing process after tooth extraction can reveal a blood-filled cyst or fluid filled bubble below the tooth on the gums.
- After tooth extraction, filling or implants, patients can end up forming fluid-filled bubbles on the gums, also known as sores or cysts.
- The pimple-like cyst usually manifest itself after the tooth is removed.
It is treated by removing the irritated nerves, otherwise surgical treatment may be required to remove the growths in your mouth.
Cigarette smoking is known to cause a lot of symptoms in the mouth, including mouth sores, infections, white spots on tonsils, swelling in the mouth, inflamed tongue and even bumps on the oral cavity surfaces.
Sore gums could also be caused by bacterial infections that are caused by cigarette smoke.
5. Gum cancer
Gum cancer is not common, but when there are some sores, hard bumps or lumps, sometimes painless on your gums could mean some kind of carcinoma growths.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common. Symptoms of gum cancer may include the following:
- A pimple-like, lump or small spot on gums that won’t heal or won’t go away.
- Red patches, dots or sores, lesions on the soft tissues on the inside of jaws. These may bleed and swell or get enlarged.
- Constantly bleeding gums and pain that may cause difficulty in chewing.
- Swelling of the gums that might recur for a long time.
Although the sore spot on gum line may be a sign of some sort of cancer, the presence of one or all of these signs might not necessarily indicate that you have cancer or some kind of mouth cancer. Visit a dentist and have proper diagnosis and treatment conducted.
6. Gingivitis and periodontitis
Both gingivitis and periodontitis diseases can cause lumps in your mouth. According to C.Health, during pregnancy, women are prone to these diseases and may experience a lump between gums. The sore may bleed easily.
Anyone else can also get these pimples if they are prone to tooth infections and dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Swollen gums, sore gums and tongue are also common signs of these oral diseases.
Epicoectomy is an endodontic surgery that is used as an alternative treatment for teeth that cannot be fixed using root canal treatment.
The Endodontic Associates of Illinois notes that it is common for patients to experience a pimple in the mouth or gums after the surgery. This might also be accompanied with bad breath and bad taste in mouth when the boil produces a discharge in the mouth.
White pimple on gum
According to Dr. Kellye N. Rice, DMD, a white pimple on gums or white spots, patches and lumps on your gum line and mouth are called leukoplakia. These can also turn yellow or gray, especially if you smoke or chew tobacco.
A white pimple on your gums should not be ignored because it could also be a sign of cancer.
The National Dental Organization advises that symptoms in the mouth such as white patches, white spots, bumps can be a sign of cancer.
If you identify such growths, lesions and sores, see a doctor for a biopsy and proper treatment.
Oral, throat and gum cancers are life-threatening diseases and can be treated if diagnosed early enough.
An unusual spot in itself is likely to be a sign of something else, such as the causes discussed above. However, you might not know that you have a bump in your mouth until you realize you have the following symptoms.
1. Hard lump on gum line
Moving your tongue around the gum line, you may feel some bumps, growths or sores. If your gums are tender, you might also feel some pain when you floss or brush your teeth.
Hard bumps on your gums can be a sign of malignant cancer and should be taken seriously – diagnosed and treated urgently.
When the lesions start to grow in the mouth, or even at the back of tongue, they may appear as small red spots. White spots on gums can also be a sign of leukoplakia or even a viral infection.
When inflamed, gums can easily show tiny red spots that, if not treated, can easily become pimples on gums. These appear on the bottom or above the gums.
3. Rough spots above tooth crown/behind molar
When behind a molar, the swelling could be a cyst as described above. Other than that, the area above your crown is tissue that is prone to infections especially if you have any one of the aforementioned gum diseases and infections.
You will therefore experience canker sores in your mouth and in the molars that will look like soft sores and pimples above teeth.
4. Painful sore on gums
Gums can become inflamed and turn red. Bleeding gums can actually be as a result of traumatic injuries. Swollen gums can be painful to touch.
Some painkillers can help you relieve the discomfort in your mouth, but you should seek medical attention as soon as possible for proper treatment.
5. It doesn’t hurt (no pain)
Mostly a raised spot that won’t go away, keeps coming back or comes and goes is likened to cancerous growths.
Recurring symptoms may indicate that a cancer is still at an initial stage and keeps growing despite your efforts to pop the bump on your gums.
Painless bumps, or lumps that don’t hurt should never be ignored especially if they keep growing large.
6. Pus-filled sore
The presence of pus or any kind of fluid that may appear as yellow, green or white is a sign of infection. When abscesses form, pus can easily collect on the area with the infection as your immune system tries to fight off bacteria, viruses and fungal cells.
Also, if you try to pop it, you can easily cause sores that will develop into little wounds in your mouth. These wounds will be painful and can produce pus before healing. Pus on gums after tooth extraction and root canal are commonly reported scenarios.
How do you get rid of gum bumps and sores? Treatments and home remedies can help a lot, but normally, these lumps, spots and patches in your mouth should go way on their own within a few days.
After tooth extraction, the white spots are common and will clear on their own within 10 days. If not, see a dentist immediately.
Home remedies include getting rid of bacteria that cause infections in the mouth.
- Gargling with dilute hydrogen peroxide is one of the recommended home treatments to get rid of white spots on gums. However, I totally do not recommend this remedy.
- Swish honey on your gums.
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater several times a day to prevent accumulation of bacteria and other microbes that may cause infections in the mouth.
Of importance to note is that treatments for gum and mouth infections will depend on the underlying causes. Treating tooth abscesses will help get rid of the symptoms.
Antibiotics are sometimes administered after tooth extraction, during the root canal treatments and when filling a hole in the tooth. This is to prevent infections that may cause discomfort.
When the spots are growing big, surgical removal may be used as a method of treatment. You should however try to prevent the causes such as chewing tobacco, poor dental hygiene and smoking. These are notorious causes of oral problems.
Sources & references
- East Coast Endodontics: 5 Signs You May Have an Infection after a Root Canal
- Medicine Net: Are home remedies effective for an abscessed tooth?
- Medicine Net: Lump or Mass on Gums
- Kelley Erice DMD: What are those white spots on my gums?