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Have you ever noticed a bump or lesion on your child’s gum and thought, “What in the world is that?” Understandably, the sight of a bump on the gums can be a head-scratcher — and maybe a little alarming. Fortunately, The Beach House Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics team has you covered with what you need to know and do.

So First, What Is That Bump on Your Child’s Gum?

A bump on gums comes in many shapes and sizes. You may have observed on your kiddo that it is a yellowish or white-looking, bubble-like bump on the gum above the tooth. Or it could be red or even bluish. Some end up being a painful bump on the gums, while others don’t hurt but just feel strange in your child’s mouth. The bump could be a gum boil, a cyst, or a lump of scar tissue.

Common Causes of A Bump on Gums in Kids

What could a bump on the gums in your child’s mouth indicate? Well, a bump on the gum above a tooth can appear for various reasons – and range from being harmless to a being sign it’s time to make an appointment with your Missouri City, TX dentist Dr. Kristi Parker. Here are the most common reasons why a bump would show up on the gums of your child:

1. Oral Cysts From New Teeth

One of the reasons for a bump on a child’s gums is called an eruption cyst or dentigerous cyst. This type of bump is specific to a child’s gums since it appears before a new tooth breaks through. An eruption cyst is typically a white bump on the gums and appears when fluid accumulates between what will be the visible part of a tooth and the tissue around it. The bumps often disappear independently and aren’t typically considered dental emergencies in your kids’ oral health. However, if it gets infected or becomes a painful bump on the gums, your child might need surgery to drain it.

2. Infections: Unwanted Troublemakers

A bacterial infection or gum abscess that causes a bump on your child’s gum results in a gum boil. It may be painful and sometimes results from severe gum disease or infection after oral surgery. In these cases, plaque and food have entered the gum pockets around teeth, leading to an overgrowth of bacteria.

3. Injury: The Accidental Villain

Has your kiddo taken a tumble and injured their mouth? Trauma or injury to the teeth can result in swelling or a bump on your child’s upper or lower gum. These types of gum boils can indicate that the injured teeth have essentially “died” and no longer receive a blood supply or have sensation.

4. Orthodontic Owies

Orthodontic appliances like braces, clear aligners, or retainers can sometimes irritate the gums and cause a scab of fibrous tissue called a “fibroma” that is typically hard and smooth. However, it can also look or feel like a cyst, canker sore or the beginnings of periodontal disease. Fibroma is one of the most common types of bumps on gums and is usually harmless. It may resolve on its own, but if the irritation causing it persists, a fibroma can continue to grow.

When Does A Bump on Your Child’s Gum Need An Emergency Visit To Your Pediatric Dentist?

Now that you’re up to speed on the most common kinds of bumps that can happen on a child’s gums, the big question is, when should you worry? We suggest scheduling an emergency visit to your Missouri City pediatric dentist if your child experiences the following:

  • Pain: If your kid has a painful bump on their gums that’s stopping them from eating or sleeping, that’s a red flag.
  • Swelling: Noticeable swelling in the face or gums is a sign to seek help from your pediatric dentist.
  • Fever: A fever along with a gum bump? If over-the-counter acetaminophen isn’t helping, you can consider it one of the dental emergencies in kids that needs the attention of a pediatric dentist like Dr. Parker.
  • Pus: Sometimes, a bump on a child’s gum is pus-filled or has discharge around it. Sound like the bump in your child’s mouth? Then it’s definitely time to call your pediatric dentist.

Treating the Troublesome Bump

Bottom line, treatment for a bump in your child’s mouth depends on what it is. Some harmless cysts go away by themselves, while an eruption cyst might need a cold compress you can apply at home. On the other hand, painful bumps might signal infection and require an immediate visit to your pediatric dentist.

In any case, we recommend coming in so Dr. Parker can examine your child’s mouth to diagnose the bumps and recommend treatment. Professional treatment of a gum boil might require antibiotics to clear infection or removal of a “dead” tooth if that was the cause. A fibroma can be removed with quick laser surgery.

Getting Stress-Free, Exceptional Pediatric Dentistry In Missouri City, TX

When your child has a bump on their gums, the last thing you want is more anxiety about it. A quick visit to your board-certified Missouri City pediatric dentist can give you peace of mind about what to do about that gum boil or oral lesion. If your child has a bump on their gums, book an appointment for high-quality pediatric dentistry at our easy-breezy, kid-friendly practice.