Could a Sore Spot on Your Gums Be a Sign of Something More?

eN_iStock_000038363366_Small_200pxPain in your gums is never good.  It could just be from a cut, possibly caused by a rough edge on food.  Or perhaps it could be a canker sore, a lesion on the gums or other areas inside the mouth that have occurred in many people throughout their lives.  But sore gums could also be the sign of something more serious; it could be a sign of an abscess.

What is an Abscess?

An abscess can come about from untreated gum disease.  In its earliest stages, gum disease is often undetectable.  While some experience painful, red, swollen gums, others may not have this pain.  An abscess forms when the bacteria that started gum inflammation begins to travel, creating a more severe stage of gum disease.  The bacteria gets into the root of the tooth and causes an infection.

What Can an Abscess Do?

An abscess can do significant damage.  First, it can ruin the tooth the bacteria has infected.  It can also get into the surrounding bone in the jaw.  If still untreated, the bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel throughout the body, causing a whole host of health issues.

See Your Dentist

If you have a sore spot on your gums, you should contact your dentist immediately.  Until your appointment, give your mouth a rinse with a salt water solution.  The salt will help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.  It may also be recommended for you to take an over the counter pain reliever.  At the office, your dentist will treat the abscess and give you antibiotics to kill the infection.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Gum disease is often the result of poor oral hygiene.  In order to prevent it, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time.  Floss regularly and be sure to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.  This will keep plaque and bacteria to a minimum, helping you to prevent infections.

Gum pain should always be taken seriously.  It may turn out to be nothing, or it could be letting you know there is a serious problem.  Listen to your gums.  When they hurt, contact our office right away.