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I have a small painful red bump on my gum behind my last molar.

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I have a small paiful...
I have a small paiful red bump on my gum behind my last molar. The bump iisnt on the molar, just on the gum behind it. It hurts to open my mouth all the way.i was wondering if this is a small abscess or canker sore?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Dental
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Answered in 32 minutes by:
1/11/2012
Dentist: Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist replied 5 years ago
Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6,022
Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine
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Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

Although it is not possible to know which of these two disorders applies in your case, or whether it may even be something else, the location of the lesion, its symptoms, and your age make it particularly likely that you are suffering from a condition known as "pericoronitis"-- an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding a partially unerupted tooth. This condition most frequently accompanies the eruption of a wisdom tooth.

Most cases of pericoronitis are self-limited and resolve on their own. However, pericoronitis occasionally progresses to a significant infection or peritonsillar abscess, which can be a real threat to your health. Therefore, if things appear to be getting out of hand, you should seek prompt treatment from your dentist. The extraction of the associated unerupted tooth will be a real consideration if the condition recurs or if symptoms become severe. In any case, you should discuss this matter with your dentist at your next regularly scheduled check-up if circumstances do not require more immediate attention.

Until you can arrange for professional attention, an effective pain relief regimen utilizes alternating every 3-4 hours between 1000 milligrams of acetaminophen (2 Extra-Strength Tylenol tablets) and 400 milligrams of ibuprofen (2 tabs of Advil). Keep in mind that this regimen is not appropriate if you have a history of liver or peptic ulcer disease; do not exceed 2000 milligrams (4 Extra Strength Tylenol tablets) per day. Hot saline rinses are also helpful in relieving pain and hastening drainage of pus: dissolve ½-teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water as hot as you can safely tolerate, and rinse vigorously for about 2 minutes at least every 2-3 hours.

Hope this helps...
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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
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Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine

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