WHAT IS THAT BIG PURPLE SWELLING ON MY CHILDS GUMS?
Likely an eruption cyst or eruption hematoma.
· This condition occurs spontaneously usually on the lower gums over a soon to erupt tooth.
· Fluid occurs in the sac covering the tooth follicle prior to erruption of the tooth
· Color ranges from purple to brown. “Black and blue,” similar to a bruise.
Is it painful for my child?
· Generally not. Cold liquid or slushy food will help.
Should it be treated with antibiotic or “lanced?’
· Because the tooth erupts through the cyst, treatment is usually not necessary. If the cyst does not rupture spontaneously or becomes infected, the top of the cyst can be easily removed.
I suggest parents watch the area for a few days for spontaneous resolution. You can also gently massage the area with a clean finger and give non spicy cold food to chew.
There are many discolored lesions in the mouth, which should be diagnosed and followed; however an eruption cyst is generally self limiting and goes away when the new tooth arrives. Any long term swellings, discoloration, or pain should be checked.
We would be happy to answer any questions or see your child if it is unclear what is happening.
Yours for healthy and happy children.
* Modified from Clinical guidelines, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.