Gum Injuries

Patient Education

Dr. Leach did a magnificent job on my teeth. He did some bonding to fill in some spaces and my teeth look just perfect. I am completely happy with the great job he did! He also did the work with no discomfort whatsoever and without even numbing. I was very comfortable the whole time.

J.M.

Dear Dr. Leach,  I just wanted to tell you thank you for my beautiful veneers! I love them and get compliments on them all the time. Thank you again!

Katie W.

Thank you all for your great service, kind care, and sweet attitudes. I love being your patient, blessings!

P.K.

Wow, my dental appointments were actually looked at as a pleasant experience, since Dr. Leach and his staff are so capable and sincere – and there was no discomfort as one usually expects.

C.R.

Thank you for everything leading up to and the day of my visit for Bioclear. I’m so happy with the results from the procedure and I appreciate all of the information everyone provided during the process. Thanks so much to you, Dr. Leach, for investing your time and talents in making this procedure available in our state. I’m very grateful for all of the kindness and care everyone gave to me. The office visits, phone conversations, and really all of my interactions with your office were very positive and put me at ease. Thank you so much for all that you all do!

Traci S.

My family and I have been a client of Dr. Steven Leach for 13 years. He has been a very positive influence concerning oral health. After consulting with Dr. Leach concerning a very crooked front tooth, he advised me and we came to the conclusion that we need to crown the teeth. His staff was encouraging, very kind and helpful with the decisions that needed to be made. Dr. Leach took great care to make sure that everything went according to plan. When it was time to fit the new teeth he was meticulous and the outcome was beyond my wildest hopes. For the first time I had a smile that I could really be proud of. Dr. Leach’s expertise, his excellent staff, and the lab made what could have been a harrowing experience a very enjoyable one.
Thank you Dr. Leach, “She said with a smile”!

K.H.

When dental emergencies and pain occur, our attention is often focused on diseases and injuries related to the teeth. However, it’s important to remember that the soft tissues of the mouth — the gums, tongue, lips and cheek lining — may also be affected. While they are tough enough to stand up to the oral environment, these tissues can be damaged by accidental bites, falls, sports injuries, and scalding liquids. They may also suffer injury from foreign bodies that become lodged below the gum line, and they can develop painful and potentially serious abscesses.

First Aid for Soft Tissues

Soft tissue injuries in the mouth don’t usually bleed excessively — although blood mixing with saliva may make any bleeding appear worse than it actually is. To assist someone with this type of injury, you should first try to rinse the mouth with a dilute salt water solution. If a wound is visible, it can be cleaned with mild soap and water; if that isn’t possible, try to remove any foreign material by hand, and rinse again.

Bleeding can usually be controlled by pressing damp gauze (or, if unavailable, another clean material) directly to the site of the injury, and keeping it there for 10-15 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, immediate medical attention will be needed. Try to see a dentist within 6 hours of the injury for evaluation and treatment. This usually involves determining the extent of the damage, performing initial restorative procedures, and occasionally suturing (stitching) the wound. An antibiotic and/or tetanus shot may also be given.

Foreign Bodies

Occasionally, foreign objects may become lodged in the space between teeth and gums, causing irritation and the potential for infection. There are a few foods (such as popcorn husks) that seem especially prone to doing this, but other items placed in the mouth — like wood splinters from toothpicks or bits of fingernail, for example — can cause this problem as well.

If you feel something stuck under the gum, you can try using dental floss to remove it: Gently work the floss up and down below the gum line to try and dislodge the object. Light pressure from a toothpick may also help work it free — but avoid pressing too hard or pushing the object in deeper. If that doesn’t work, see a dentist as soon as possible. Special tools may be needed to find and remove the object, and you may be given medication to prevent infection.

Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses

Gum AbscessSometimes called a gum boil, a periodontal abscess is a pus-filled sac that may form between teeth and gums. It is caused by an infection, which may have come from food or other objects trapped beneath the gum line, or from uncontrolled periodontal disease. Because pressure builds up quickly inside them, abscesses are generally quite painful. Symptoms may include a throbbing toothache which comes on suddenly, tenderness and swelling of the gums or face, and sometimes fever. Occasionally, pus draining into the mouth through an opening in the sac relieves the pressure and pain, but may cause a strange taste.

If left untreated, abscesses can persist for months and cause serious health problems, including infections that spread to other parts of the body. That’s why it is important to see a dentist right away if you experience symptoms. He or she will find the location of the abscess and treat it appropriately. Treatment usually involves draining the pus and fluid, thoroughly cleaning the affected area, and controlling the infection.