CHILDREN’S HEALTH: GUMBOILS

Symptoms: Inflammation, swelling, or pain at the base of a decayed tooth, injury or discoloration of associated tooth

Home care
Aspirin or paracetamol will help relieve pain.
Have the child rinse the mouth with warm salt water or apply warm soaks to the affected area.
If the tooth is about to come out naturally, the loss of the tooth will allow the pus to drain and the gumboil to heal without treatment.
If the tooth is not loose, or is a permanent one, consult a dentist.

Precautions
- Do not confuse a gumboil with a canker sore, which does not protrude in the same way as a gumboil.
- If the child loses baby molar teeth prematurely, the spacing and positioning of the permanent teeth can be affected.
- Some dentists believe that a gumboil on a baby tooth can endanger the permanent tooth before it emerges. If your young child has a gumboil, see the dentist.

A gumboil is an abscess (a collection of pus in inflamed tissue) in the gum at the base of a decayed tooth. It is caused by infection reaching the root canal and traveling to the tip of the tooth's root. Gumboils usually occur only with baby teeth, rarely with permanent teeth. Gumboils are common after a cavity in a tooth has been repaired and filled. They are also common in untreated decayed or injured teeth.

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