Gum boil is a very common complain that we see in our clinics every day. The case usually is a result of neglected dental abscess.
Gum boil symptoms:
The case is usually presented as small opining in the gum that drain pus or sometimes blood if you apply pressure to it. The area around the boil is usually a little swallowed and red. The pus drainage may stop for a while and the opining may even close, but usually if the case is not treated the pus will be accumulated again in the tissue and the opining will appear again to drain the formed pus. The neighboring tooth usually is sensitive to pressure and produce pain with chewing but sometimes the pain is not obvious in chronic cases. The neighboring tooth usually have a very large cavity or severe periodontal problems. The patient usually complain of bad breath and salty bad taste as a result of the drained pus.
Some times the case may take an acute course and here the symptoms will be generalized in the form of face swelling, fever and lymph node tenderness.
Gum boils causes and types:
Gum boil or abscess causes includes extensive caries with necrotic nerve of tooth or severe, deep periodontal pocket we will discuss both in details.
Dental pockets start with gingival inflammation due to plaque and tartar accumulation if the gingival inflammation still untreated the bacteria will start to invade the periodontal ligament that is responsible of cementing the root surface to the gum tissue and bone. As a result of bacterial invasion into the periodontal ligament the attachment is lost between tooth and gum forming what is called dental pocket. Later this pocket is filled with bacteria and food debris which may cause pus formation and the pus oozing start.
The most common cause of gum boil is teeth abscess. Teeth abscess usually formed as a result of caries that reached the pulp so the caries bacteria ferment the pulp tissue and continue to invade the periodontal ligament and jaw bones over the diseased root. As a result to body reaction to bacterial invasion pus formed and the resultant pus pressure leads tissue destruction and this continue till a canal is formed to drain the pus out witch lead in the end to form gum boil that drain the pus out.
Once you discover it you should see your dentist quickly as in many cases if the boil treated quickly we may avoid tooth extraction. The dentist will examine you carefully to discover the cause and usually an x-ray film is taken. Once the cause is discovered the second step will be draining the pus by starting root canal treatment to let the pus get out from an opining inside the tooth crown, Sometimes making a small incision in the gum to drain the pus or even extract the tooth if your decided that the tooth is hopeless.
Then if the dentist decided that the tooth is hopeful he may perform root canal treatment or gingival surgery to treat the gum pocket.
Unfortunately usually many of the teeth that cause gum boils should be extracted to completely relief the case. But we have to say that many teeth with gum boils may be conserved and even restore it’s normal functions after successful root canal or gingival surgery. So your dentist is the only one to decide what to do with it and your role is only to see your dentist as fast as possible as this may help to conserve the tooth and avoid extraction.
What to do at home:
As we mentioned before once you have gum boil you should see your dentist as fast as possible. Till you find a date in you dentist clinic you should try to drain the formed pus by applying light pressure on the gum around the opining and use warm saline as mouth wash to increase the blood supply to the area to help the drainage and relief the symptoms.
Dr. A. Galal