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ASK YOUR DENTIST 26 - Infection

“I come to you with a very serious problem. I am experiencing tiny little sores in my mouth, they are little raised red bumps which are painful and sore, and sometimes bleed a little. There are 3 or 4 of them on my gums, and they do not bother me much, but sometimes they can swell and be painful. Usually they do not hurt, but they sting a little when I use mouthwash. My problem is that I do not have healthcare and so I am turning to you for an at home remedy for these if possible, or at least a diagnosis.

Thanks in advance,


Dear Michelle,

It is absolutely impossible to set up any kind of diagnosis without having seen the are or at least photos and x-rays of the affected area first. Only then can a valid medical diagnosis be set up, and a legitimate treatment plan proposed. But from what you have described, I think that very probably you have an infection.



The exact infection I would not know, but it sounds like you have oral lesions caused by acute periodontitis. This means that there are bacterial infections in the deep tissues of your gums, and they are creating excess pus, which will make raised little bumps called sores that help with letting the pus out of your tissues. There is no home remedy for this condition, you need to take antibiotics. Treating the sores with a salt water rinse or topical ointments like star anise extract will create temporary relief, and may even make the symptoms go away altogether, but they will come back, or perhaps cause something even worse to happen.

The condition you described can also be caused by an acute systemic infection, like HPV or an autoimmune problem as well. Many times these lesions will appear in undiagnosed diabetics or in patients suffering from a compromised immune system.   

Make no mistake, you are suffering from a serious problem, and worst of all, you will not be able to heal until you know the cause of these lesions. If the cause is a systemic infection, the treatment that will help you kick it will be very different from the treatment that will help you if you have acute periodontitis. However, it is very likely that you need to go on antibiotics to get better and to have the pustules clear up, and if the case is serious enough, you may need to have periodontal surgery or some other serious intervention. The problem is that until you know, you will not be able to remedy yourself, as it is not clear what is causing them. Go to a dentist for a check up at the very least, that way you can get an accurate diagnosis. In the meantime, rinse with salt water to kill the bacteria in your mouth.

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