When a tooth falls out, you likely console your child by reminding them a new tooth will soon grow in its place. Yet in some cases, the gum tissue where the new tooth is primed to emerge begins to swell and change color. A lumpy, raised, purple to blue spot in the gums where a tooth is missing is a concerning sight for most parents. But before you panic and rush to the dentist, keep in mind it’s likely just a common eruption cyst. In most cases, your child won’t need any specific treatment for their new tooth to emerge without issues. Only in specific situations will your child need to see the pediatric dentist just because of this kind of cyst.
Eruption cysts often become noticeable when the gum tissue turns a whitish or slightly blue color. There will be a swollen or fluid-filled area that may look like a bubble forming on the open space where the tooth will emerge. This is normal, even when the color is purple or blue due to the presence of blood. Most are filled with only clear fluid, but even blood in the cyst fluid is normal. Technically known as an eruption hematoma, it’s very similar to an eruption cyst and not necessarily a cause for alarm either. They’re a common occurrence when a child’s teeth are growing in, but you may never have noticed the condition before, even if you’ve had multiple children go through the tooth eruption process.
It’s not entirely understood why eruption cysts form in some cases. They always appear right before a new tooth is set to burst through the gum line. A clear fluid becomes trapped between the new tooth’s crown and the special tissue known as the dental follicle that surrounds it. As the tooth rises up, the cyst can become more noticeable or darker in color. Fluid accumulation isn’t a sign of complications with the tooth eruption, just a warning that it’s close to happening. Cysts that cause a lot of pain or that remain in place for weeks are more likely to need a dentist’s attention than those that appear quickly and disappear without further issue.
It’s fairly inevitable that the cyst will burst on its own, letting the tooth come through and exposing the crown. This shouldn’t cause any pain or infection and will likely occur without your child even noticing. If the cyst remains in place or causes discomfort for your child, the dentist can check it and lance it if necessary to reduce the pressure under the surface. This may be necessary for the tooth to erupt, but that’s a rare occurrence today. Further treatment like antibiotics or drainage will only occur if the pediatric dentist thinks there’s an infection or impaction complicating the situation. Very few tooth eruptions develop these kinds of issues, but prompt treatment is best if there are any signs of trouble.
If the cyst bursts and there’s some blood, there’s no need for alarm. Signs that your child needs to see a dentist for an eruption cyst include:
Since it’s not known how eruption cysts form, it’s impossible to prevent them. Simply focus on supporting your child’s dental health by encouraging good brushing habits and taking them to the dentist every six months for routine cleaning. Any lump in the gum tissue that persists for a few weeks or causes pain should be inspected by the dentist to rule out abscesses and impacted teeth. These harmless eruption cysts are more common in children growing in their adult set of teeth, but they can form even in babies and toddlers experiencing their first set of teeth growth. Using teething tools or practices like feeding teething biscuits won’t cause or discourage these cysts from forming.
Need help with your child’s teething or tooth eruption concerns? Visit us here at Saginaw Kids Dentistry for peace of mind and a fun experience for parents and children alike. We can handle all sorts of oral cyst and eruption issues to make the process as painless as possible. Make an appointment today to see a pediatric dentist and get a better idea of when to expect tooth eruption in your growing child’s beautiful smile.
At the heart of Saginaw Kids Dentistry is our passion for meeting families, seeing them grow, and being a trustworthy presence for kids and parents alike. If you’re ready to join our patient family, book a visit online today! We are excited to meet you and your child.