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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Throbbing gums

09/26/2008

Question:

Just over the past couple of days I have noticed moderate throbbing/tingling of my gums more specifically the hard palate immediately behind my front 2 teeth. There is mild swelling there but in the distant past when I have had this swelling it was not associated with constant pain like this. There is no ulceration in the area. I thought of gingivitis but I don`t have bleeding gums. What could this be?

Answer:

What you have described could have occurred if you have used a microwave oven to reheat a food with cheese in it. The cheese absorbs the microwave energy more quickly than some of the other foods and will thus heat more quickly. This is very common in reheated pizza as the rest of the ingredients do not absorb the energy as quickly as the cheese. This can produce a mild to severe burn on the roof of the mouth often with no ulceration. This condition usually resolves itself in seven to ten days unless there is further insult to the tissues. If your condition does not improve in ten days, visit your dentist to have the situation diagnosed. If your dentist is unsure of the diagnosis it is probable that they will refer you to a specialist such as an oral pathologist.

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Response by:

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University