Thank you for getting back to me.
Unfortunately, without a closer examination and possible X-rays of this lump, I will not be able to provide you with much more assistance specifically to your currently condition. (So if you don't click on "Accept", I will totally understand.)
Initially, prior to your answers, I would have thought that you may have an abscess
and developed a fistula
. A fistula presents as a fluid-filled lump on the gum and it is filled with pus. The size of the lump can grow, and can sometimes feel fairly hard, but when you put pressure on it, one can either pop it, or disperse the pus and cause the lump to briefly disappear. The most common causes of a fistula is a dental abscess
where the nerve of a tooth has become necrotic and there's chronic infection
Thus it lead to my asking whether you have had fillings/crowns/root canal treatments done in the area, which you denied ever having. So the chances of it being a dental abscess/fistula is pretty small, however, not impossible. There have been a number of documented cases (and I've personally come across 2 patients in my practice) where the nerve of a tooth randomly died without any rhyme or reason. It is unlikely, yet possible, that you could be unfortunate enough to have a tooth on the lower left go bad on you, even when no fillings/crowns/root canal treatments were ever done on it.
Of course, the only way to tell is to go see your dentist
and get an X-ray taken of the area to determine what might be causing this lump.
Again, prior to your answers, I briefly though the lump may simply be the early manifestation of a mandibular torus (exostosis). Many patients develop boney protrusions on the side of their jaws. They range significantly in size but are almost always benign and no treatment would be needed. However, it's doubtful that this is an exostosis for the fact that you can push the lump and make it disappear, and the fact that the lump feels mobile.
The last possibility is that if this lump is near the area where you used to stash your chewing tobacco, then it is possible that the exposure to the tobacco had caused the tissue in the area to become dysplastic. Oftentimes, the gum tissue will thicken and harden, becoming more fibrotic (which can feel like a lump). Tissue dysplasia can potentially lead to something more malignant, however, the initial stages of dysplasia itself does not mean you've developed oral cancer
. Oftentimes, when the patient successfully quits the use of chewing tobacco, the tissue will quickly revert back to normal in a matter of a few months.
In any case, without the opportunity to visually examine the lump myself, I really couldn't tell you what it is. At this time, my 2 potential diagnosis
would either a dental abscess/fistula, or possible fibroma or tissue dysplasia related to previous use of chewing tobacco.
If possible, I would recommend that you swing by your dentist for a closer evaluation and take any necessary X-rays to either identify, or rule out potential causes.
I wish you the best,
JulXXXXX XXXXX, DDS