Gum Bumps: Are They Harmless or a Sign of Something Worse?

July 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentexgroup @ 6:17 pm
Woman with questioning expression.

You might be surprised by finding a bump on your gums. While this can be alarming, it is usually harmless. However, it can be a sign of something serious in some cases. Here are a few of the possible reasons for a bump forming on your gums and how to know whether it’s nothing to worry about or worth a trip to the dentist’s office.

A Cyst

Cysts are small fluid-filled masses. A dental cyst in the gums usually forms around the roots of dead or buried teeth. It grows slowly and doesn’t usually cause any symptoms unless it becomes infected, which can make it painful and swollen. A cyst can grow so large that it begins to exert pressure on your teeth, leading over time to movement or loss of teeth or weakness in the jaw.

A dental cyst should be examined by a medical professional. It can usually be easily removed with surgery. The procedure also allows your doctor to treat the cyst’s root causes, preventing its return.

An Abscess

A dental abscess is a small pocket of pus that usually develops from an infected tooth. They often occur around the sites of past dental work. The bump can feel soft and warm while being very painful. This pain can hit suddenly and get worse, spreading to the jaw, ear, or neck on one side of the face. The pain can get worse when lying down. The abscess can cause redness and swelling of the face.

An untreated abscess can lead to blood poisoning. Finding one on your gums means you should seek immediate attention from a dentist. Treatment can involve draining the pus, removing the source of the infection, or a root canal or tooth extraction in severe cases.


A fibroma is a very common cause of bumps on gums. Hard, smooth, discolored, and usually painless, these bumps are harmless and often go away on their own. Fibromas form on irritated or injured gum tissue, so the use of in-mouth dental appliances like dentures, retainers, or clear aligners increases the risk of developing it. It usually doesn’t require treatment, but exceptionally large specimens can be surgically removed.

A Canker Sore

Canker sores are small, sometimes painful ulcers that form at the base of the gums, taking the form of white or yellow spots bordered by red or slightly raised bumps. They can be very tender and cause pain while eating or drinking. They usually heal in a week or two and the pain can be treated with an over-the-counter analgesic.

Oral Cancer

Symptoms of oral cancer include painful red or white bumps that bleed periodically. They look like bumps, thickened areas, crusts, or sores. They can carry symptoms like numbness, sore throat, hoarseness, or other changes to the voice. If these symptoms persist for two weeks or more, visit a doctor or dentist.

No one expects to find new bumps in their mouth, but it’s best to be aware of what they can be. By staying abreast of what can pop up, you can treat it sooner and spare yourself some stress.

About the Practice

Dentex Dental Group provides comfortable and affordable dental care to the people of Philadelphia, PA. Led by Drs. Karina Aloian, Alexander Genkin, Igor Plotnik, Margarita Levites, and Alexander Zilberman, the practice serves each patient with 100% personalized attention during every visit. Services include preventative dentistry, periodontal therapy, restorative dentistry, dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, clear aligners, and emergency dentistry. For more information on preventing gum disease, contact the office online or dial (215) 677-3904.

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