What Causes a Gum Blister?


A gum blister may have many causes. There are some conditions and disorders that either directly cause blisters and sores to form within the mouth, or include them among their list of side effects. Some common causes of blisters inside of the mouth are created by everyday events like chewing. Other gum blisters may a sign of a more serious disease.


A gum blister or boil can be a condition that dentists refer to as a parulus. This type of blister usually forms on the gum just above a tooth with an infection. Infection and decay inside of the tooth cause the nerve within the tooth and gum to die. These dead nerves will then seep out of the infected tooth area. The dead nerve is considered to be a toxic substance by the body, and the typical action of the body is to remove it by allowing the material to seep out. The blisters that have formed on the gum are the draining point for this toxic material to drain. White blood cells, the body’s natural defense against toxins and infection will occur in numbers around the tooth area causing pus to develop. When this pus breaks through the abscess, a gum blister or parulus forms. This condition can be prevented by maintaining proper mouth health and by avoiding damaging the gums with improper brushing techniques. This condition will require a dentist to extract both the dead tooth and a root canal to remove in infected root as well.


Other conditions can cause gum blisters to develop. Herpes labialis, or common cold sores can often occur on the gums. They usually occur on the lip area, but can also occur inside of the mouth. These small and possibly painful blisters are caused by a herpes simplex virus. They are very contagious and usually require treatments of over the counter topical treatments or if they chronically occur within the mouth, an anti-viral medication may be prescribed.


Small, painful and white blisters located on the gums may also be the common ailments known as canker sores. While canker sores are annoying and painful, they are not harmful and will usually clear up on their own in few days. Most of the time canker sore causes are unknown, although an injury to the gums or interior of the mouth may cause one to develop. These are often reoccurring conditions.


Some disorders will also have effects that may cause blisters to develop on the gums inside of the mouth. These are autoimmune disorders that are relatively rare. These disorders affect the mucous membranes and the skin, often covering large amounts of the body sometimes occurring on the gums. Examples of these disorders are pemphigus vulgaris, cicatricial pemphigoid and paraneoplastic pemphigus.


While most people recognize Crohn’s disease as an inflammatory bowel disease, mouth ulcers and blisters will often crop up as well. Swollen gums are also a symptom as well as intestinal pain, fever, fatigue, cramps, constipation and difficulties with bowel movements. The direct cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown and treatments may include diet alterations and medications.


Gum blisters may also appear not as a course of disease or infection, but simply from pressure or injury applied to the inside of the mouth. Burns and irritation from hot, acidic or spicy foods may cause blisters to develop. Biting the inside of the mouth, or injuries that occur from tooth brushing or chewing may also lead to the formation of blisters. Tooth problems, improperly fitting orthodontic equipment or tobacco use are other causes. Most forms of mouth and gum blisters will heal on their own with little or no treatment, but severe or chronic cases of blisters should be checked out to rule out any serious diseases or disorders.