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Gum Boil In Children

What is gum boil?

Gum boil is also known as dental abscess. It is a soft tissue swelling that is usually located at gum area which near to the affected teeth. It can occur on primary or permanent teeth.

What is the cause of gum boil?

There is a communication between bacteria and pulpal tissue (innermost layer of tooth which contains nerve tissue and blood vessel). Pulp tissue will undergo changes to contend infection of bacteria. Failure in this response will end with pulp becoming necrotic and pus collected at the tooth’s root end”. Eventually gum boil will be formed.


  • Diet with high sugar
  • Bottle feeding
  • Poor oral hygiene

What to do if your child has a gum boil?

Bring your child to see the dentist for consultation and treatment.

What is the management of gum boil?

  • Drainage of pus
  • Root canal treatment or extraction of affected teeth
  • Prescribe Paracetamol for painkiller and fever
  • Prescribe antibiotic with presence of fever and lymph node enlargement

Treatment : Teeth extraction

Treatment : Root canal treatment

Conditions when root canal treatment is not an option:

  1. Tooth with badly broken or decayed structure

    Teeth that are badly broken, decayed structure or of doubtful on prediction to survive should be extracted

  2. The uncooperative or non-compliant child

    Children who are uncooperative or unable to attend regularly for complex restorative care. Removing the worst affected teeth may allow scope for introducing the child to preventive and operative dental care.

  3. The medically compromised child

    If a child’s general health may be at risk from the retention of tooth with the vulnerable pulp tissue, tooth need to be extracted.

  4. The orthodontic extraction

    This is when there is a plan for orthodontic treatment


  1. David A Mitchell, Laura Mitchell. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Dentistry 4th Edition 2005.
  2. Greenstein G, Greenstein B. Clinical management of acute orofacial infections. Compendium Continuing Education in Dentistry 2015. Feb;36(2):96-103.
  3. Richard R. Welbury. Paediatric Dentistry 2nd Edition 2001.


Last Reviewed : 12 May 2015
Writer : Dr. Rashima bt. Ali @ Ibrahim
Accreditor : Dr. Bahruddin bin Saripudin