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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Swollen Lump on Gums After Infection

08/17/2011

Question:

Hi, I recently had an infection in an upper incisor that had already underwent root canal treatment four years ago. It needs to be redone but I was hoping to wait for a month or so before having the operation (because I`m currently overseas and don`t want to have it done until I return). The dentist said it was okay to wait provided the infection goes away and gave me a course of antibiotics (amoxycillin). A week later, my gums above the infected tooth were still swollen so the dentist cut a small hole in the gums to allow the pus to drain so it could heal faster, and put me on a second course of amoxycillin. Now I have finished the second course and the cut seems to be healing, but the swelling hasn`t gone away. The lump/tooth doesn`t hurt anymore (it had stopped hurting about three days into my first course of antibiotics) and is hard to the touch, and I cannot move it. I can also feel that hard lump when pressing on the area above my lip. What is this lump, and do I need to be worried about this?

Answer:

It is not unusual to have a residual bump after a serious infection like you have described. It is caused by some swelling in the bone due to the infection. It can, and usually does, resolve over time. There are no long term problems with this situation unless the cause of the infection is not resolved.

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Response by:

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