It can be quite startling to discover a bump on your gums while you’re brushing your teeth! But before you begin to panic, it’s important to establish whether the bump is harmless or something that could potentially turn into a problem. Here are some of the common causes for bumps appearing on your gums, along with some signs for when you should schedule a visit with your dentist.
Common Culprits for Bumps on Gums
A bump on your gums isn’t usually a dental emergency. That said, here are seven common causes:
- Cyst – A cyst is a small bubble filled with air, liquid, or other soft materials. They usually grow slowly and rarely cause any symptoms, although they can sometimes become infected and cause pain and swelling. However, they’re easily removable through a small surgical procedure.
- Abscess – These are caused by bacterial infection, and they usually hurt. They’re also filled with pus, so your dentist will need to identify the source of infection and then drain it to treat it.
- Fibroma – Fibromas are noncancerous lumps that form on irritated gum tissue. They’re typically painless and usually feel like hard, dome-shaped lumps or dangling skin tags. They usually don’t require any treatment.
- Canker sore – A canker is a small mouth ulcer that can be quite painful, but they’re usually harmless and heal on their own within a week or two.
- Pyogenic granuloma – These red bumps appear swollen and blood-filled. They’re usually painless and removed via surgery, but dentists aren’t sure what exactly causes them.
- Mandibular torus – This is a common bony growth that can appear in the upper or the lower jaw, but the exact cause is still unknown. They rarely require treatment.
- Oral cancer – A cancerous tumor might appear as a small growth or lump, and associated symptoms include tongue and jaw soreness, loose teeth, trouble chewing or swallowing, and red/white patches on the gums. Your dentist can perform a quick gum biopsy to determine if the growth is cancerous.
When Should I See My Dentist?
Even though bumps on your gums are often nothing serious, you should still contact your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Throbbing pain
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Bleeding sores that don’t heal
- Red or white patches inside your mouth or on your lips
- Lumps that don’t disappear after a few weeks
Bumps can appear on your gums without warning, and the cause isn’t always obvious. Visiting your dentist without delay can ensure that a serious oral health concern doesn’t develop and progress.
About the Author
A native Texan herself, Dr. Renee Corbitt proudly serves patients and families in the Fort Worth area! Dr. Corbitt received her dental doctorate from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School and has taken countless hours of continuing education in a wide variety of fields. She is a member of many prestigious organizations including the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, the American Veterinary Dental Society, and more. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, feel free to contact Dr. Corbitt online or give her a call at (817) 294-8821.