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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Tiny bumps on gumline

04/01/2009

Question:

I have these tiny little bumps on my gumline on my lower bottom front teeth. They are super tiny and I just don`t know what they could be. They are clear, but are so small not sure if there is fluid. They just don`t go away, but they don`t hurt or itch, but not knowing is driving me crazy. The only thing I could think of was awhile back I gargled with apple cider vinger for a sore throat and I swished in between my teeth too. I noticed that after I did that my gums where white looking where the gums meet the teeth, but that subsided after awhile. Never noticed those bumps until later, so don`t know if that contributed to my current problem. Could I have damaged my gums. I just know if this could be a real problem, can any cancers start this way or can it be a fungus or bacteria. I have good teeth and good oral hygiene. Please, help me out if you can. Thank you.

Answer:

What you are describing could be a variation of the normal appearance of your gum tissue. In most people the gum tissue is not perfectly smooth close to the teeth. It has little bumps and grooves that resemble low hills and valleys but the color of both is usually very similar. It is not unlike the look of the peel of an orange or lemon and has been termed gingival stippling.

In some people, though, the bumps are more prominent and have a distinct whitish hue that makes them a bit more visible. The increased visibility of the stippling may reflect a greater amount of surface skin on the bumps (like a callus), increased moisture content of this skin, or both.

You have probably had these tiny bumps for years and just never looked closely enough to see them before. Given your description, an infectious cause or anything serious would be very unlikely. Hope this helps.

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University