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Gum Boil After Tooth Extraction, Is That Even Possible?

After being in practice for many years, we've seen just about everything and yes, a gum boil after a tooth extraction is certainly possible.


gum boil
gum boil

However, are you sure that you have a pimple on the gums as a result of removing your tooth? It could just be a coincidence because extractions are supposed to eliminate it.


Which brings us to our next question, are you sure it is even a gum boil? You may be mistaking it for something else.


Can you get a gum boil after an extraction?

It's possible to coincidentally get a gum boil after an extraction but it wouldn't be due to it. In other words, it is not your dentist's fault because they didn't do anything wrong nor did they contribute to you getting the boil on the gums.


The reason we call it a coincidence is because extractions are a permanent cure for teeth afflicted with gum boils. In order to understand what we mean by that we should review how this condition develops.


gum boil with sinus tract
gum boil with sinus tract

A gum boil is NOT an innocent pimple on the gums because it is the orifice opening of a sinus tract that leads to a periapical abscess. In other words, that pimple forms because your tooth has an abscess which has destroyed enough bone to reach the surface of your gums.

One way to treat this condition is by extracting the entire tooth.


Since the abscess is connected to the tip of the root, if you pull the tooth out, the abscess will get removed along with it. That is the reason why it is impossible for an extraction to cause it.


It's a coincidence

Since tooth removal will permanently eliminate the boil on the gums, the reason you have one can't be due to the procedure. However, you can still end up with this condition purely based on a coincidence.


Maybe the tooth in front or behind the extracted tooth also has an infection. If either of these teeth are abscessed, they can potentially form a gum boil. It's just that this condition coincidentally formed after you had a tooth removed!


Gum boil after wisdom tooth extraction

To be clear, everything that we've said also applies for a gum boil after wisdom teeth removal. It could just be a coincidence or maybe it's not even a gum boil because it can be something else.


The only way to tell would be if you saw a dentist for a diagnosis.


It may not be a gum boil

An alternate explanation would be that what you see in your mouth is NOT a gum boil. You may be seeing something else but you're mistaking it for a pimple on the gums.


The prime suspect for what it could be is a canker sore. It is not unusual for patients to develop a canker sore after a tooth extraction.


canker sore inside mouth on cheeks
canker sore inside mouth on cheeks

They both occur on the gums so they can be easily mistaken for one another. Therefore, we'll go over the similarities and differences to help you identify which condition it actually is.


Gum boil vs Canker sore

Attributes

Gum boil

Canker sore

Location

Gums only

Gums or cheeks

Shape

Circular

Circular

Height

Raised

Flat

Color

Red

White with red outline

Symptoms

Painful or painless

Painful

Exudate

Pus

No pus

The two most important identifying factors to help distinguish them would be the presence of an exudate and also the height of the lesion.

  • Exudate. A gum boil is an infection so a tell tale sign would be if you see pus oozing out of it. That is a white fluid which is filled with dead bacteria and white blood cells. A canker sore does not have any purulence.

  • Height. A distinguishing factor between the two would be the height of the gum lesion. The sores are typically flat while the boil is a raised bump.


gum boil - pimple on the gums
gum boil - pimple on the gums

It is important to know which of the two you have because one requires treatment while the other will go away on its own. The boil on the gum is a true infection so you will need to see a dentist while the canker sore will go away within 2 weeks.


What to do

In order to determine whether or not that gum lesion is a gum boil you will need to see a dentist for a proper diagnosis. Once it has been verified you may proceed for its treatment.


Potential treatments:

  • Root canal. The infection can be completely removed by performing root canal treatment. The infected nerve along with the abscess will be removed via the top of the tooth. You may need antibiotics placed inside the canal for a few weeks prior to finishing the procedure in order to ensure complete elimination of it.

  • Extraction. Depending on how severe the infection is, the tooth may need to be completely removed. Sometimes root canals can fail and the only option left would be an extraction.


These treatments all require the help of a dentist.


Home remedies

Home remedies may be utilized to temporarily alleviate the pain or discomfort but they will not permanently cure your condition. Due to that reason alone, we highly recommend seeing a dentist in lieu of attempting to treat this condition at home.


All of these at home remedies cannot reach the source of the infection and that is why they're ineffective. However, a lot of them do tend to have analgesic properties but they'll only offer relief while you're using them.


That means the pain will return once the remedies wear off, thus forcing you to continually reapply them. Permanently needing to reapply it is not a solution.


The Verdict

You can end up with a gum boil after a tooth extraction but it's probably just a coincidence. It is definitely not as a result of the tooth removal because that's impossible. A more likely explanation is that it is coming from one of the adjacent teeth.


Another plausible explanation is that the gum lesion which you see may not be a pimple at all. It could very well be a canker sore which you're mistaking it for as a boil on the gums.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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