Skip to main content

Help! I Just Found an Abscess on My Gums

Help! I Just Found an Abscess on My Gums

Does your tongue keep poking an inflamed bump on your gumline? That unmistakable, pus-filled bump makes you groan because it hurts — and you know it won’t go away on its own. 

The expert team at Greenwich Dentistry in Greenwich, Connecticut, can help you find relief from a painful gum abscess. We evaluate your inflamed gums, diagnose the cause, and prescribe treatment. We offer emergency appointments so you can feel better sooner.

What’s an abscess? 

An abscess can occur anywhere in your body. It’s a localized infection characterized by a small, pus-filled bump surrounded by tender, swollen tissue. Your body creates a defense mechanism to prevent the infection from spreading. 

Causes of abscesses 

Bacteria can take up residence in your gums or between your teeth and gums, leading to an abscess. An abscess can happen for several reasons.
Poor oral hygiene 

If you haven’t maintained a regimen of brushing, flossing, and routine dental care, plaque and tartar build up in your mouth, allowing bacteria to gather and leading to gum disease.

You can remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing. Plaque that hardens, known as tartar, is much more difficult to remove. Professional dental cleanings scrub away the plaque and tartar, which is why your teeth feel so smooth and clean after a dental visit.
Trapped food particles

Small pieces of food that get trapped between your teeth or in your gums become a breeding ground for bacteria. Flossing helps, but pockets can still develop in your gums to trap food, especially if you had a molar pulled or are missing another tooth.


If something sharp punctures your gum, a toothpick, for example, this injury can allow bacteria into your mouth. An injury like that can turn into an abscess. 

Existing dental concerns 

An untreated cavity or toothache could prompt your body to create a gum abscess to protect the rest of your teeth and prevent infection from spreading. But you don’t want to ignore it. 

Other risk factors 

Smoking, poor nutrition, a compromised immune system, and even medical conditions like heart disease can increase your risk of gum abscesses.

Seek immediate dental care

Don’t hesitate to make a dental appointment if you have an abscess. Left untreated, what started as an uncomplicated abscess can turn into a serious, even life-threatening illness. For example, the infection can spread and lead to a sinus infection or blood infection.

Treating an early abscess is usually a routine procedure. We may prescribe an antibiotic and drain the abscess. If we drain it, we numb the area and make a tiny incision. Sometimes, we need to perform a tooth extraction or root canal. 

If you have a painful abscess on your gums, call the Cos Cob office of Greenwich Dentistry today for effective relief.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are Sealants Only for Children?

Are Sealants Only for Children?

You may know dental sealants are an excellent cavity-prevention treatment for children. But did you know adults can get them too? Find out the benefits of dental sealants.

The Truth About Sugar and Your Teeth

Sugar has a bad reputation for tooth decay, but science tells us it’s not simply sugar’s fault. Instead, it’s everything that happens next. Discover how you can prevent tooth decay.
Do This if You Knock Out a Tooth

Do This if You Knock Out a Tooth

If you knock out a tooth, it’s a dental emergency, and time is of the essence. Here’s what to do to have your best chance of saving your tooth. 
All About Dental Sealants

All About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants protect your hard-working molars from cavities. The quick and painless procedure provides a protective coating that can last years. Find out more here.