Gum Boils – Causes, Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment (Danta Pupputa)

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Gum boil is called Dantapupputa in Ayurveda. It is a disease caused by imbalanced kapha and blood tissue in the gums wherein there is a big swelling in the gums which goes on to get suppurated in due course of time.
Read – Home Remedy For Gum Swelling And Bleeding Gums

Category, pathology, symptoms

Category –
Danta pupputa can be grossly classified under Mukhagata Rogas (diseases of the oral cavity).
Dantapupputa occurs in the gums. Therefore it is included under Dantamula gata rogas (diseases of the gums and alveolar processes). Dantamulagata rogas is the sub-category under Mukhagata Rogas.
Read – Bleeding Gums – Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies

Pathogenesis – Dantapupputa gum disorder is caused when the gums are afflicted by vitiated kapha and blood.

Symptoms of Dantapupputa Gum Disorder

  • Dantayoh trishu vaa mahaan shwayathuh jaayate – a big swelling occurs in the gums, at the root of two or three tooth
  • Paka – suppuration in the gums
    Read – 3 Easy Home Remedies For Bleeding Gums

Dantapupputa correlation, Sanskrit, treatment

Modern correlation –
This condition can be compared to a condition called ‘Gum Boil’ explained in modern medicine. It is said to be caused by infection of gums and jaw leading to swelling of gums in the region of infection. The swelling may later encroach so as to afflict the entire gums. (read more)

Treatment of Dantapupputa Gum Disorder
Raktamokshana – In the treatment of dantapupputa gum disorder (gum boils), bloodletting is the best treatment. Any one of the below mentioned types of bloodletting are highly recommended in treating gum boils.
Read – Raktamokshana Benefits, Types, Procedure, Indications

Panchalavana Kshara Pratisarana – the alkali prepared from five salts is mixed in honey and applied to the afflicted gums at the site of swelling or to the entire gums.

Bhedana – incision of the swelling along with application of medicinal pastes (pratisarana, as explained above) should be done when the swelling has ripened

Shirovirechana – head purification should be done by administering medicated nasal medication, purgative errhines
Read – Nasya Karma Procedure, Types, Benefits, Contra Indications

Nasya – nasal medication, non-purgative form

Snigdha Bhojana – food having plenty of fat, unctuous foods including ghee and oil
Read – 11 Ayurvedic Eating Tips For Good Health

Treatment line as explained by master Vagbhata
Master Vagbhata advises the below mentioned measures to be done in the treatment of gum boils, in the given order –

Swedana – First the condition should be subjected to heat application through fomentation.
Chedana – After sudation, incision of the swelling is done
Bhedana / Lekhana – Later, the area of swelling should be divided / loosened or alternatively subjected to scraping
Pratisarana – Following the above said measures, the afflicted part of the gums, should be applied with paste / powder of the below mentioned herbs-

  • Liquorice (read here)
  • Ginger
  • Rock salt
  • Sodium carbonate i.e. sarjika kshara

Gum boil causes, types

“A Gum Boil is a warning sign that something just isn’t right in your mouth. Infection is finding its way out of your system, and you don’t want to leave untreated disease draining from an unknown source” – Dr Greg Grillo DDS

‘Gum Boil’ is an abscess which forms on the gums in the form of a boil. They are swollen bumps formed on the gum.
Read – Ayurvedic Remedies and Treatment for Dental Plaque And Tartar

Causes for Gum Boil

  • An infection – Most of the times, the gum boil is formed due to the infection which occurs beneath your gums. Infection may be due to infection of tooth and gums, impacted food particles, improper hygiene of the mouth and plaques.
  • Oral Cancer – Gum Boil may occur as a symptom of cancer of the mouth, but it is a rare condition.

Other causes –

Types of Gum Boil
Depending on the location of the gum boil, it can be considered to be of three main types. They are as mentioned below –

  • Gingival abscess / boil – gum boil occurs on the gums, in the gum line
  • Peri-apical abscess / boil – boil occurs at the root of the tooth
  • Periodontal abscess / boil – boil occurs in the supporting tissues of the teeth

Gum boil symptoms, home remedies

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Boil
Pain – Most of the times the gum boils are associated with pain. Sometimes it may be devoid of pain.
Bump / lump / boil – this is the characteristic sign of gum boil. One can find a bump on the afflicted part of the gum area. It can be readily felt by the tip of the tongue or by palpating it with one’s finger. A painful lump in the gum will often make you look into the mirror to investigate what lies there.

Other symptoms of gum boil include –

  • Swelling of the gums
  • Discharge of pus – if the infection is severe and marked
  • Bleeding from the bump
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot substances
  • Bad breath and foul smell from the mouth
  • Fever – due to infection
  • Pain in the ear
  • Sense of vomiting

Home Remedies for Gum Boil
Salt water gargling – warm water mixed with salt shall be used for gargling the mouth. It reduces pain and swelling, sometimes helps in discharge of pus. If the infection is severe, salt water gargle may help temporarily. That should give you a clue to see the doctor.
Read – How To Do Oil Pulling In Genuine Ayurvedic Way?

Applying clove oil – application of 1-2 drops of clove oil has been traditional treatment for ages in tackling tooth and gum related problems. This too will help in checking the pain. The relief will be almost immediate in mild to moderate cases. As already said, pain and abscess persisting for long duration needs medical attention.

Garlic juice – garlic juice may be used for rinsing the mouth or to hold it as a gargle. It counteracts pain and often acts as antiseptic. It also reduces inflammation of the gums. Everyone may not tolerate the intense pungent taste of garlic, especially those who don’t use garlic or those who have sensitiveness for the same. They may use it in diluted form or try alternatives. Alternatively you may apply garlic juice to the afflicted area.
Read – Garlic Benefits, Research, Usage, Side Effects

Apply peppermint oil – Peppermint oil too works well for your gum boil and tooth pain. Take a drop of peppermint oil on your clean finger tip and rub it gently over the painful boil to obtain relief from pain.

Oil pulling – put 1-2 spoon of coconut / sesame oil in your mouth and move it in your mouth as you do in gargle.

Other remedies –

  • Application of tea tree oil
  • Rinsing the mouth using hydrogen peroxide
  • Application of turmeric powder / exposing the boil to fumes of turmeric

Time to see the doctor
When things don’t heal or go away, it is not wise to push things by trying different home remedies. Self medication is also not good. The same rule applies for gum boil. If your gum boil is an abscess which isn’t healing or showing signs of regression in spite of using home remedies for few days, it is an alert to see your doctor. You need to do it immediately if the symptoms are worsening, especially in when the lump increases in size, the pain worsens, there is lot of pus discharge and there is fever. Some systemic conditions need to be investigated. Any abscess which is not going away is dangerous. The infection can spread to your teeth and jaw bones or to the other parts of the body through bloodstream and cause systemic complaints. Visiting a dentist is the best choice.
Read – How To Make Your Own Ayurvedic Tooth Powder? 7 Factors To Consider

prevention tips, treatment

Prevention of Gum Boil

  • Gum boils can be prevented through maintaining proper oral hygiene.
  • The teeth need to be brushed after every meal or after eating anything.
  • Toothbrush needs to be changed frequently. Selection of toothbrush and paste may be done on the recommendation of your dentist, so as to suit your teeth. This will become important especially if you are prone to tooth and gum disorders.
  • It is important to brush your gums gently while brushing your teeth. You need to pay special attention to brush the rim of the gum where it is attached to the tooth.
  • Frequent oral check-ups and prophylactic oral cleansing are preferred, especially when you have troublesome teeth and gums. Tooth extraction in case of caries tooth, filling up of teeth or changing dentures may be recommended by your dentist as and when needed. This would prevent gum boils.
  • Use of herbal tooth pastes or powders will help in long run.
  • Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco to prevent gum boils from occurring or recurring.
    Read – Ayurvedic Way Of Teeth Brushing And Tongue Scraping

Treatment of Gum Boil
Course of Antibiotics – If you already have gum boil which is not going away or if it is also an abscess, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to cure the boil.

Deep cleansing – Unhealthy or improperly maintained gums may cause gum boil. Deep cleansing shall be done or recommended by an expert dentist if the cause of your gum boil is unhealthy gums.

Root canal treatment – Tooth decay may also cause gum boil. Root canal treatment will be recommended by your dentist or endodontist if the cause of your gum boil is your tooth decay.

Replacement / adjustment of dentures – Misfit dentures or old dentures may cause gum boils. If this is a case, the dentist may recommend adjustment or change of dentures.

Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Email / Skype

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