Depending on what type of infection is causing the gum boil, you may be able to heal it on your own at home. Dedicated oral hygiene that removes all plaque from the area on a routine basis may be all you need. If the boil persists you may need professional treatment.
Will gum boils go away on their own?
Most gum boils or tooth fistulas tend to follow a cycle of swelling and drainage. You may see one today, but not tomorrow. Unfortunately, the cause of the infection will not go away on its own. It must be treated.
How long do gum boils last? A gum boil will last as long as the dental infection or abscessed tooth goes untreated, or until the tooth falls out. Some boils tend to flare up and then pop (drain) and not come back, even if the infection is still draining.
What bacteria causes gum boils? Inside gum boils is a combination of different anaerobic gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, which cause inflammation and pus formation. In some cases, the extent of bacteria and spread of the pus can lead to sepsis and require hospitalization.
Can gum boils make you sick? If severe enough, yes. Chronic and untreated gum boils can lead to life-threatening sepsis that requires hospitalization and medical treatment (especially if the infection occurs in a child.) If the dental abscess starts to spread into your face, seek immediate medical care.
What if a child gets a gum boil? Gum boils can be life-threatening for children, due to the proximity to the brain. An untreated pediatric dental abscess should be treated as soon as it is diagnosed. It is not uncommon for children to require hospitalization because of an untreated gum boil.
Are gum boils cancerous? Usually, no. However, any oral lesion that doesn’t heal within 10-14 days should be evaluated by your dentist as part of an oral cancer screening. Precancerous or suspect sores may need to be biopsied. Since oral cancer typically is hard to detect, the earliest signs or symptoms could mean the cancer has already reached an aggressive stage of the disease.
Can cats and dogs get gum boils? Yes. Any mammal, including your household pet, can develop a gum boil. Boils are simply the result of an infected or dying tooth. If your pet was in a fight with another pet and hurt a tooth during the process, the trauma may be enough to trigger a gum boil even if months have already gone by.
How long do gum boils last? A gum boil can come and go for months. However, the longer it goes on, the more deterioration it will cause to the tooth. Eventually, the tooth will likely fall out or need to be extracted because of having a chronic dental abscess.
Can gum boils come and go? Yes. Since the infection and bacteria-filled pus push out of the tooth and into the gums, once your gum boil pops it will seem to go away. But over time, that pus and inflammation usually build back up, causing your gum boil to be visible again.
How common are gum boils? You’ll typically only see a gum boil if you have a severe dental infection, like an abscessed tooth or aggressive periodontal (gum) disease. The boil forms when infection inside of the tooth has become so severe that it needs somewhere to drain.
When will gum boils go away? Gum boils go away when the source of the infection is treated. If a gum boil pops it may appear to go away on its own, but that does not mean the infection underneath the gums has healed itself.
How do dentists treat gum boils? Most gum boils are due to dental abscesses. Dentists treat abscessed teeth with things like antibiotics, root canal therapy, or tooth extractions. If the boil is because of gum disease, a deep cleaning may be recommended.
Is salt water good for gum boils? Yes. Since gum boils are caused by inflammation and swelling, rinsing with warm saltwater can help alleviate the extent and size of the fistula inside your mouth. The solution helps draw out the swelling from the tissues around it.
Can gum boils be caused by stress? Not necessarily. But if the sore isn’t a gum boil and is a “cold sore” which is caused by a strain of the herpes virus, it can be exaggerated by stress and flare up due to a weakening of the immune system.
Can gum boils make you sick? Yes. Any oral infection, especially gum boils/dental abscesses have the chance of spreading bacteria into other parts of your body. The pus from a gum boil has even been known to spread to the brain.
Can hormones cause gum boils? It’s not uncommon to see something called “pregnancy tumors” (which may mimic the appearance of gum boils) on the gums during pregnancy. The localized swelling is usually temporary and due to hormone fluctuations during gestation and go away after giving birth. However, if it’s an untreated gum infection, the pregnancy tumors could put you at an increased risk of premature labor and preeclampsia.
Can antibiotics cause gum boils? Antibiotics are usually used to treat gum boils, reducing the extent of infection and inflammation prior to your root canal treatment (making the endodontic therapy more comfortable.) If you’re allergic to any specific types of antibiotics, let your doctor or dentist know.
Do gum boils get bigger? Gum boils come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For some people, they may be no bigger than the size of a pinhead. For others, the extent of swelling and pus inside of the fistula may cause the boil to be the size of a marble or larger.
Do gum boils heal on their own? If your gum boil suddenly pops or seems to disappear, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the infection itself has healed. There may still be a dental abscess deep under your gums, inside of the tooth root. Instead of having a gum boil, you may only have a tiny opening where the pus is draining.
Can wisdom teeth cause gum boils? It’s quite common for wisdom teeth to get infections around them, causing enlarged cysts, swelling, and pain. Because of their location (and being hard to clean,) wisdom teeth get infected more easily than other teeth do, resulting in gum boil development.
How long do gum boils take to heal? The time it takes your gum boil to heal often depends on how quickly and the type of treatment you get. Usually it takes about a couple of weeks for the infection (including any related swelling or pain) to go away with the right treatment.