Why Is There A Pus Pocket On Your Gums?

You expect to see pimples on your skin at least on occasion. But finding what looks like a pimple on your gums can be a bit more alarming. Why is there a pimple, or more accurately, a pocket of pus, on your gums — and what should you do about it? Keep reading to find out.

What is a pus pocket?

First, it is helpful to understand what a pus pocket is. When bacteria enter your gums, your body starts fighting those bacteria by sending in lots of white blood cells. The pus you're seeing is a collection of those bacteria, white blood cells, and some plasma, which is the liquid portion of your blood.

How do you get a pus pocket?

Pus pockets can occur because you have periodontal disease, a serious form of gum disease that causes pockets to form between the gums and teeth. Sometimes some of the bacteria in the pockets work their way further down into the tissue and an abscess forms. That's your pus pocket. Even patients with more minor gum disease can develop a pus pocket, on occasion, if bacteria happen to enter a tiny hole in the gum tissue.

What should you do about a pus pocket?

This is a problem you need to see the dentist about. So, call and make an appointment. While you're waiting for your appointment, you can rinse your mouth with salt water. This will help ease the swelling and discomfort associated with the pus pocket. It will also help you get a head start on fighting the bacteria both in your pus pocket and elsewhere in your gums.

What will a dentist do about a pus pocket?

Your dentist will likely start by draining the abscess and using an antiseptic solution to clean out the area. Then, they'll take x-rays to see how deep the infection goes. If it has spread into the tooth roots, you may need to have a root canal to remove the infected tooth material. If the infection is only in the gums, your dentist may do a procedure called root scaling, which is basically a deep cleaning for your gums. You'll likely also be prescribed antibiotics to help you fight off the bacteria.

If you find a pus pocket on your gums, there is no reason to panic. This is a condition that needs dental care, but if you have it treated appropriately, you should heal up just fine.

Contact your dentist for more information about periodontal disease.