Bumps on Gums: 8 Causes & Easy Treatments

Bumps on gums are common experience or occurrence, these bumps may not be harmful while in some cases, they are signs of something serious . The bumps may be caused by irritation to food or debris in the mouth, growth, cancerous tumor or dental cyst. It is very important to see a doctor if you notice bumps that will not heal or causes pus in the mouth. In this article, we will discuss some causes of bumps on gums, how to treat them and when to see a doctor .


Conditions that can cause bumps to appear or develop on the gums are:

1. Canker Sores

These are small ulcers that develop at the base of the gum and other places in the mouth like the tongue, lips, inner cheek and palate. They are not harmful but they can cause pains in the mouth and can affect eating, drinking and talking. Currently, three is no cause of these bumps but it is believed by experts that they develop when the body’s immune system fights the mucosal cells in the mouth.

Canker sores are common in the United States that about 50% of people have these bumps. About 80% of these bumps are less than I centimeter, causes little pain and irritation and they heal within a week. Around 15% of canker sores are more than 1 centimeter, causes severe pain and irritation and takes 2 or more weeks to resolve while 5% of bumps comes in small clusters and turn out to be ulcers, they heal in about a week.

Other symptoms that will help you identify canker sores are:

  • They have yellow or white spots with red edges
  • The bumps are slightly raised
  • They are tender when you feel or touch them
  • Pain while eating or drinking.

2. Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a yeast infection that develops in the mouth. This is caused when there is an overgrowth of a yeast called Candida. This bumps are white in color and occur on the gums, tongue, roof of the mouth and inner cheeks. Candida is a harmless yeast that lives naturally in the mouth, however there are factors that can cause this yeast to overgrow and multiply. These factors can be poor oral hygiene, weak immune system and certain medications like antibiotics and inhaled corticosteroids. 

Some other symptoms of oral thrush are;

  • Feeling like there is cotton in the mouth
  • White patches and sores
  • Cracks around the corners of the mouth
  • Soreness and redness of the mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Pain while eating or swallowing

3. Dental Cyst

A cyst is a bump which is filled with liquid , air or other soft tissues. Most of these bumps can develop on the gums, while others can be found around the root of dead teeth. Cysts are harmless unless they are infected. When they are infected, they swell and cause pain. 

Other symptoms of Dental Cysts are:

  • Feeling of pressure around the affected teeth
  • Decay or its signs in surrounding teeth
  • Severe pain in the teeth, gum and surrounding tissues

4. Periodontal Abscess

These are small bumps with pus, they are caused by bacterial infections. The bumps are always soft, warm and very painful.

Other symptoms of Dental Abscess are:

  • Pain in the gum, ear, jaw and neck
  • Severe throbbing pain in the affected teeth that comes suddenly
  • Swelling and redness of the gum and face
  • Worse pain when you lie down
Bumps on Gums
Bumps on Gums

5. Oral Cancer

Cancer can develop anywhere in the body including the gum. Oral cancer is a cancerous growth in the upper part of the throat, gums or anywhere in the mouth. These cancerous growths have thick areas with rough crusts, red or white patches. Oral cancer can be persistent bumps in the mouth. 

Symptoms that can be used to identify oral cancers are:

Bleeding from the bumps

  • Pain in the jaw
  • Loose teeth
  • Sore throat
  • Pain while eating or swallowing
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
  • Pain in the tongue

6. Mandibular Torus

This is a bump that looks like a bony growth in the upper or lower jaw. It can form on either one jaw or both, it can also develop as a single growth or in cluster. Apart from the jaws, mandibular torus can form around the insides of the tongue or lower jaw, on the roof of the mouth, above the teeth or even below. This bump does not have symptoms in most cases and they are not painful. It can only leave large bony growth in the mouth.

7. Oral Fibroma

Oral fibroma is a non-cancerous growth that forms in the mouth. This bump is usually a millimeter nor even centimeter in size with white or pink color. They develop as a result of injury or irritation caused by dental devices in the mouth. Oral fibroma can be found on the gums, inner cheeks, tongue, inside of the lips and floor of the mouth. It does not cause any pain and it is usually shaped as a dome. 

8. Pyogenic Granuloma

This is a red bump that is filled with blood, it bleeds easily when irritated. Currently, there is no cure for this bump but doctors attribute the cause to injury and irritation. It can also be seen in pregnant women which makes hormonal changes one of its causes. This bump does not cause pain and it is soft with deep purple or red color.


Some bumps on gums can come in white color, they may also be painful, thick or hard.

Some of the white bumps are caused by:

Oral Lichen Planus

This is an inflammatory condition that can cause white bumps or patches to develop on the gums and mucous membranes in the mouth. When the bumps are white, they do not cause any pain or discomfort. But after sometime, they will develop into red, opened sores which are very painful. 

Other symptoms of oral Linchen Planus 

  • Stinging or burning pain especially when eating ,talking or drinking. 
  • Sensitivity to substances that are acidic, spicy and hot.
  • Bleeding of the gum even when brushing the teeth
  • Inflammation of the gums.


Sometimes, there may be bumps after extracting damaged tooth from the mouth. While extracting tooth especially wisdom tooth, there is need for a little bone to be removed. Small pieces of this bone can stuck to the gums very firmly making it hard to see or remove during the extraction procedure.

With time, these pieces of bones will cause swelling and pain. Bumps on gums after tooth extraction can be the bony wall that supports the tooth which is now protruding after the damaged tooth is removed.


1. Canker Sores

Canker sores can heal on their own if they are minor but major sores will need treatment so as to resolve.

The treatment methods include:

  • Mouth rinse or wash
  • Topical drugs that can be applied on the bumps
  • Oral medications that can be used to reduce pain, bleeding and inflammation
  • Saltwater which will be used to rinse the mouth
  • Oral steroids that are used to cauterize and seal the bumps.

2. Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is caused by yeast overgrowth so the treatment will involve antifungal medication to reduce the infection.

Oral Thrush can be treated using:

  • Saltwater mouth rinse
  • Lozenges
  • Tablets
  • Mouth rinses that can be swallowed

3. Oral Linchen Planus

To treat oral linchen planus, you can use any of the following methods:

  • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, this drug can be in form of injections, oral or topical.
  • Numbing cream or gel to reduce pain
  • Medications to treat the whole body
  • Medications that can control the immune system

4. Dental Cyst

Cyst can be treated using any of the following:

  • Surgery: Making incisions around the gum with the cyst to gain access. This is done of the cyst develops deep into the jaw.
  • Tooth Extraction: The tooth can be removed to properly clean out the socket. After which artificial bone materials are used to fill up the space.
  • Endodontic Therapy: This is cleaning out the infected tooth pulp with an instrument that look like a file.

5. Periodontal Abscess

  • Drainage: Incisions are made on the bump and the pus is drained out
  • Root Canal Treatment: A drill is made into the tooth to have access to the root of the tooth. The abscess is then cleaned, the canal is filled and a dental crown or filing is used to seal the hole.
  • Tooth Extraction: This is done if the root canal procedure does not being relieve. 

6. Mandibular Torus

Since this bump is harmless, there may not be any treatment but if it becomes large enough to disrupt or interfere with speech or cleaning of the teeth, surgery may be required.

7. Oral Fibroma

Oral fibroma can be removed if it is causing irritation in the mouth. The sample is sent to a lab for further examination to check if it is a cancerous growth.

8. Oral Cancer

Before treatment, samples of the bumps are taken to a lab for examinations and diagnosis.

Treatment methods can be:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy to shrink the bumps
  • Chemotherapy to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.


Bumps on gums can be harmless patches caused by irritation or injury, they can be caused by infections, or cancerous growths. If you notice any bumps, you should see a doctor for examinations and treatments so as not to feel pain and discomfort.

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