pregnant woman with gum boil

Gum boil treatment and remedies complete guide for adults, children and pregnant women gum abscess

Gum boil, also known as gum abscess or parulus is the draining point of deep tooth infection that needs root canal treatment or caused by bacteria leaved in the mouth because of poor oral hygiene. The gum boil appears like a bump below your gum line and it can be the same color of tissue, redder or with yellow or white head and pus inside.

Conventional symptoms like soreness, swelling, bleeding, pain when chewing and bad smelling are usually associated with gum abscess but sometimes gum boil doesn’t hurt.

To solve the problem there are medical treatments like root canal, canal re-treatment or apicoectomy performed by an endodontist.

In some cases natural an home remedies can heal gum boils as well especially: hydrogen peroxide, oil pulling and salt water rinse.

If gum boil won’t go away by its own, your doctor can prescribe you an antibiotics round (Amoxicillin or Brufen). It is not a good idea popping gum boil by yourself.

If you are pregnant or you see gum abscess in your children mouth you should let your dentist know about that and set a full mouth examination.

3 most common types of gum abscess with boils

Gingival Abscess

Gingival abscess is the most mild form of gum disease because it involves the part of the soft pink tissue around the neck of the tooth. Boil appears close to the marginal gingiva or on the papilla which is the tissue between teeth.

Before infection and bacteria create periodontal pockets, you should ask for dental deep cleaning.

If you leave gum abscess untreated, it evolves and begins to spread to the tissue and bone that keep your teeth in place.

It is easy to get rid of this gum boil type because it is, usually, caused by poor oral hygiene. So everything you should to do is brushing and flossing more accurately after each meal.

Periodontal Abscess

When the situation described above evolves, bacteria create gum pockets in between the root of the tooth and gums. Periodontal abscess boil may appear either close to the gingival marginal or below the gum line. It depend on where the infection is more severe or the tissue is more weak.

If bacteria can go deep through the pockets they affect the jawbone that starts to reabsorb leaving teeth with very poor support. Periapical abscess and periodontitis are the first cause of early teeth loss.

Periapical Abscess

Unlike gingival and periodontal, periapical abscess (or tooth abscess) is caused by an infection that comes from inside of the tooth.

Usually everything starts with an untreated tooth cavity. Infection attacks the pulp and you feel severe toothache until the bacteria kill the inner part of the dental element completely.

In cases of tooth abscess, gum boil appears close to the tip of the infected tooth root. The boil represents the drainage point of the abscess where the pus created by the necrotic tissue accumulates (that’s why it is common to see a bump with white head). Gum boil caused by periapical abscess cannot be cured with natural treatments or with natural remedies, it is necessary to undergo the root canal treatment to solve the issue (or even apicoectomy).

Gum boil most common symptoms and signs

What are the symptoms I have to look for to know if I have a boil on the gum ? The most unequivocal gum boil symptom is a red bump close to the gum line (marginal gingiva) or at the same level of the root tip of the tooth affected by the infection. If the pus already accumulated then the bump has a white to yellow boil.

Additional symptoms associated with gum abscess are:

  • Soreness and swelling;
  • Pain in the root canal;
  • Redness within the gum line and mouth;
  • Bleeding on the gums and mouth during oral hygiene;
  • A bad smell and taste in the mouth because of pus discharge.

Gum boil home remedies and natural treatments

In addition to the medication and/or antibiotics prescribed by your dentist, there are pain relief home remedies that can help you to get rid of gum boil. There also are natural treatment that can prevent gum abscess and improve your overall oral health.

Hydrogen Peroxide oral rinse

The most effective natural treatment for gum boil is rinsing the mouth with a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash homemade.

Here is how it works: mix equal part of hydrogen peroxide and water in a tea cup. After brushing and flossing, keep the water + peroxide rinse in your mouth for just a minute swilling it around your oral cavity and then spit it. Repeat this procedure three times a day especially before to go to sleep.

Swollen hydrogen peroxide it not a good idea because it may cause diarrhea so pay attention your kids spit it completely. This natural remedy will shorten the gum abscess healing time and prevent the boil coming back.

If you prefer you can buy hydrogen peroxide 3% mouthwash even via Internet. The most rated on Amazon is “Swan Hydrogen Peroxide Topical 32 Ounces Pack of 2” which price is only $9.99 !

Salt water rinsing

Salt water oral cavity rinse is the most used home remedy ever.


  • add half a teaspoon of standard table salt to a glass of warm plain water;
  • mix until the salt is completely dissolved;
  • rinse your mouth using the saltwater mixture as you would your usual mouthwash;
  • spit the saltwater and do not swallow it.
  • In order to see results repeat the treatment twice a day for a week;

Is salt + water and effective natural treatment for gum boil ?

The answer is yes, this home remedy is recommended by dentists or dental hygienist and is clinically proven that works even if it is not so effective as hydrogen peroxide.

Essential Coconut oil pulling

Is coconut oil pulling an effective natural remedy to fight gum abscess with boil ?

There is scientific proven: bad bacteria that are leaving in our mouth are unicellular elements and their “skin” is made of fatty membrane. When bacteria causing the infection get in touch with the essential oil thy remain trapped because the oil and the fatty membrane are like a piece of iron and a magnet.

Coconuts essential oil is the most useful for oil pulling because, unlike sesame and sunflower, it contains lauric acid that is well known for its antimicrobial action.

Garlic and onion

The use of garlic or onion as gum boil natural remedy is very simple,

  1. cut a garlic clove;
  2. crush it with the use of a fork;
  3. place the mush directly on the infected bump and wait for the effect.

After a few minutes, depending on the initial intensity of the sore, you will feel pain relief.

The relief is due to a substance called allicin that is formed, thanks to chemical reactions, just when the garlic is cut or crushed.

Allicin is considered a natural antibiotic, also found in onions, that can help you dealing with gum boil.

Placed upon the gum abscess area, it carries out not only its soothing functions but also the antiseptic ones so it calms the pain and minimally contributes to cure.

Using garlic tablets and garlic powder you get the same result !

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, also known as the essential oil of Melaleuca or tea tree oil, is a powerful natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Just apply a few drops locally on the boil spot or on the inflamed gingiva.

You can also add hypericum oleolite that is an excellent anti-inflammatory for the gums

Is amoxicillin antibiotic indicated to treat gum boil ?

A lot of questions are posted daily to know if antibiotics are the right treatment to heal gum boil. The answer is not an easy task. Your dentist or doctor may prescribe you oral antibiotic like amoxicillin, metronidazole or clindamycin if gum abscess is causing you symptoms like: facial swelling (cheek), elevated temperature and systemic upset.

You should consider antibiotics a complementary treatment while boil drainage is the primarily. If you are experiencing gum boil while pregnancy, before to take any antibiotic, you should inform the doctor in advance,

Since there are many different anaerobic bacteria types a microbiological culture or test can tell exactly which antibiotics is more indicated in the case to be solved but this is not a common practice.

Gum abscess most common causes

Gum boil after root canal or failed endodontic therapy

During root canal treatment procedure, the endodontist has to pay attention to remove the infection entirely. If the tooth root is straight it is not difficult but if the root hasn’t regular shape it can be an hard job. In the second case the laser can help to burn all bad bacteria and to destroy infection once and forever.

What if the dentist leaves small pieces of necrotic tissue in the proximity to the tip of the tooth root ? The infection restarts to develop, pus forms again and a gum boil may re-appear. This is usually called gum abscess after root canal or endodontic treatment. In this situation there are two choices: proceed with re-treatment of the canal or apicoectomy.

Boil because of pus in the gum pocket

Another cause of gum boil is the necrotic tissue located deep within the gum pocket due to the untreated gingivitis that leaded to periodontitis.

When you leave gingivitis untreated, bacteria are free to creates pockets in between the gum and the affected tooth.

The tissue inside the pocket dies and becomes necrotic, inflammation increases and pus forms.

At this point a boil appears close to the infected area.

Immune deficiency or compromised immune system

  • Human immune system can be compromised because of different reasons:
  • Medications:
  • medications for depression;
  • antiepileptic drugs (Anticonvulsants);
  • drugs based on cortisone;
  • oral contraceptives;

Special health condition

  • diabetes;
  • HIV;
  • Addison’s disease;
  • Malnutrition (Vitamin and minerals deficiency – especially Vitamin C and E);
  • stress

If your immune system is week, bad bacteria can easily grow in your mouth and cause you infection such as gum abscess with boil.

On the other hand, a chronic gum infection can week your immune system and lead to a immune system weakening.

Gum boil during pregnancy, what to do ?

Pregnancy causes hormonal fluctuation in most of the woman and each time in different ways. Study and statistics reveal that during pregnancy the quantity and the quality of saliva change, usually it decreases and becomes more viscous.

The result is that type of saliva doesn’t help to wash away food debris as it used to do. In this situation it easy for plaque and bacteria to cause common forms of gum disease such as gingivitis, bleeding and swollen gums as well as boil or tumor.

The period after the baby birth also puts new moms at risk of developing gum abscess because of poor oral hygiene. They pay so much attention to the baby that they forget to take care of them self.

Usually gum boil caused by pregnancy goes away by its own. In case the bump becomes unaesthetic or it leads to easy bleeding you can ask your dentist to remove it. It is an easy and fast procedure and sometimes local anesthesia is not needed.

Common home remedies such as: salt water or hydrogen peroxide rinse as well as oil pulling can help to cure or prevent gumboils to form during pregnancy.

Gum boil in children, how to treat it ?

Gum abscess in children may be attributed to numerous causes first of all tooth cavity. If your child fails in keeping a goof oral hygiene, bacteria can attack either enamel tooth and gingiva. When the infection reaches the root of the tooth the abscess form and pus accumulates forming the bump.

Children gum boil is treated in the same why like for adult so you book an appointment with your pediatric dentist to fix both the abscess and the tooth cavity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Draining the gum abscess

Before to drain the gum boil your dentist will give you a local or topical anesthesia. Then there are two different procedure depending on where the boil is:

  • Draining the bump boil from the gum pocket:
    In this case the dentist will gently squeeze the boil until it pops up. When it happens, the pus starts to come out from the gap in between the tooth and the soft tissue. After this procedure you will immediately feel much better because squeezing eliminates the inside pressure. It is not over yet ! the most important job is to accurately clean the pocket to eliminate the necrotic and infected tissue from there inside.
  • Draining the boil from outside of the gum with a small incision:
    When the boil is far from the gum line, your doctor has to cut the gingiva to make the pus coming out. It isn’t a painful procedure and it doesn’t require stitches

Can I pop my gumboil by myself at home ?

Popping the gum boil by yourself is a bad idea simply because it may cause you to feel a lot of pain and second because it will be a half treatment. In other words. Only the dentist knows the right procedure to drain an abscess completely and how to medicate it. In addition there is the risk to spread the infection to the neighboring tissue.

Why doesn’t my gum boil hurt ?

Sometimes it happens that gum abscess is there close to your gingiva but you don’t feel any pain; that’s called “silent gum disease” (gum boil with no pain). The fact that the bump doesn’t make you feel pain or mild sore it’s not a good reason to keep it for long time. The best thing to do is to visit your dentist and ask him or her for the treatment to get rid of the boil as soon as possible.

Is gum abscess contagious ? Can it be passed by kiss ?

Gum boil is a mouth tissue infection caused by bacteria and these bad guys can be passed on to another person through the saliva. However it doesn’t mean the infection will affect the person who got it. In order to produce their negative effects, bacteria need special conditions.

ùIf the person you think you passed the infection through the saliva (kiss) suffers because a low immune system then there is the contagious possibility. Instead, if that person had a strong immune system, infection bacteria will be killed by his/her white blood cells.

The third case is the person you kissed becomes a mere infection carrier without to suffer because of it.

Gum boil won’t go away, what should I do ?

If your gum boil won’t heal by its own it is because the infection that is causing it is still there. This is the typical case of draining fistula after root canal treatment. If the dentist hasn’t found the source of the infection during the endodontic procedure then the infection will continue its job and the boil will appear again.

In order to get rid of the infection the dentist should repeat the treatment and be sure to kill all the bad bacteria. In this case laser treatment is very helpful. Taking antibiotics can help fix the problem.

Last update: January 18, 2018

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