Why Is My Gum Lifting up in the Back: Causes and Solutions Explained

Key Takeaways

  • Gum lifting due to flap or operculum covering wisdom tooth.
  • Risks: discomfort, infection, decay, cleaning challenges.
  • Treatments: palliative care, operculectomy, extraction.
  • Prevention: hygiene, dental visits, aftercare lifting.

The health of our gums plays a crucial role in maintaining overall oral well-being, and any issues concerning them can be a cause for concern. Among individuals’ various concerns, one often raises the question, “Why Is My Gum Lifting in the Back?” This phenomenon can be perplexing and may lead to discomfort and anxiety for those experiencing it. In this exploration, we will explore the potential reasons behind lifting gums in the back, shedding light on common causes and offering insights into preventive measures and possible remedies.

Gum Flap Over Wisdom Tooth

If you have a gum flap over your wisdom tooth, it can cause discomfort and increase the risk of infection and decay. A gum flap, or a dental operculum, is a piece of gum tissue covering the back portion of your wisdom tooth. That can occur when insufficient space in your jaw or your wisdom tooth is impacted. A gum flap can lead to a condition called pericoronitis, characterized by redness, swelling, bleeding, foul odor, and pain. It’s important to seek dental treatment.

Gum Flap Over Wisdom Tooth

Your dentist may recommend palliative treatment to provide temporary relief or an operculectomy to remove the gum flap. Sometimes, tooth removal may be necessary, especially for lower wisdom teeth. Taking care of your oral health and seeking prompt treatment can help prevent further discomfort and complications.

Dental Operculum

When dealing with a gum flap over your wisdom tooth, understanding the concept of a dental operculum is essential. A dental operculum is a gum flap covering the wisdom tooth’s back portion. It can occur due to insufficient jaw space or when the wisdom tooth is impacted.

This excess gum tissue can cause several problems, such as pain, difficulty cleaning, and trapping food particles, leading to gum infections and other gum health issues. Keeping the operculum area clean is important by gently brushing and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.

However, if the operculum causes persistent pain or recurrent infections, an operculectomy may be necessary. Consult your dentist to determine the best course of action for your dental operculum.

Causes of Gum Lifting

You may be experiencing gum lifting in the back due to several factors. One possible cause is a partially erupted wisdom tooth. When a wisdom tooth doesn’t fully emerge, it can create a flap of gum tissue that can easily trap bacteria and food debris. That can lead to swelling and discomfort in the area around the tooth.

Another cause could be gum disease. If you have poor oral health habits, bacteria can accumulate and cause your gums to become inflamed and swollen. It’s important to address these issues promptly to prevent further complications.

Causes of Gum Lifting

The best treatment for gum lifting will depend on the underlying cause. It’s recommended to consult with a dentist who can determine the most appropriate course of action. In the meantime, practicing good oral hygiene and using home remedies like salt water rinses can help alleviate pericoronitis symptoms and promote healing.

Pericoronitis and Gum Lifting

When experiencing gum lifting in the back, it’s important to understand the connection between pericoronitis and this condition. Pericoronitis is a gum inflammation commonly affecting the lower wisdom teeth. It occurs when an infection in the gum tissue surrounds a partially erupted tooth. This infection can cause the gum to lift in the back, leading to pain, swelling, and difficulty opening your mouth.

It’s crucial to seek dental treatment for pericoronitis to prevent further complications. Your dentist will clean the affected area thoroughly to remove bacteria and debris. They may also prescribe antibiotics to control the infection.

Maintaining good dental health, including regular cleaning and check-ups, prevents gum lifting and pericoronitis. Remember to take care of your teeth and gums for a healthy smile.

Treatment Options for Gum Lifting

One option to address gum lifting in the back is to consider surgical intervention. If you have gum raising due to bacteria and food debris getting trapped, a minor surgical procedure called operculectomy may be recommended.

Treatment Options for Gum Lifting

This procedure involves removing the gum flap that’s causing the lifting. Your dentist might use a local anesthetic to numb the area before making a small incision and removing the excess soft tissue. Sometimes, your dentist may need to remove a small piece of gum to create enough room for the tooth to come through correctly.

After the procedure, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly to prevent further gum issues. Regular dentist or dental hygienist visits can also help keep your gums healthy.

Aftercare for Gum Lifting Treatment

To properly care for your gums after a gum lifting treatment, it’s important to follow specific aftercare instructions provided by your dentist. After the procedure, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as gentle brushing and water flossing.

Saltwater rinses can also help reduce inflammation and promote healing in your gums. Your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic rinse to prevent infection further and reduce inflammation. It’s important to diligently follow any prescribed medications and avoid certain foods that may irritate the treated area.

In some cases, follow-up appointments may be necessary to ensure proper healing and address any regrowth of gum tissue. Remember, seeking the advice and guidance of your oral and maxillofacial surgeon is crucial to prevent complications and ensure a successful recovery.

When to Seek Dental Assistance

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s time to seek dental assistance:

  • Gum lifting in the back
  • Lymph node and facial swelling
  • Chronic pericoronitis
  • Difficulty in cleaning the gum flap

These symptoms can indicate an infection or inflammation in the back of the mouth, specifically around the third molar. Untreated pericoronitis can lead to complications such as bad breath, pus, pain, and even Ludwigs angina.

When to Seek Dental Assistance

Swollen gum tissue, the gum flap, pus discharge, and swelling on one or both sides of the mouth are signs that you should seek dental assistance.

An oral surgeon or dentist can provide the necessary treatment, such as operculum removal or extraction, to alleviate the symptoms and prevent further complications. Remember, early intervention is key to maintaining oral health. Don’t hesitate to contact a dental professional if you experience these symptoms.

According to the American Dental Association, regular dental check-ups can help prevent and treat these issues.

Periodontal Health: Effective Treatment Strategies

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a prevalent oral health issue that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Symptoms of this condition can manifest in various forms, including bad taste in the mouth, loose teeth, mild gum recession, and tooth sensitivity. It may even progress to the point of developing periodontitis on one tooth, further emphasizing the importance of timely intervention and proper dental care.

Dental professionals often recommend treatments such as root planing and deep cleaning to address periodontal disease. These procedures aim to eliminate bacteria and tartar buildup from the tooth roots and below the gumline, reducing inflammation and preventing further damage. Additionally, acute pericoronitis, a rash around the tooth roots, may require specific attention in the treatment plan.

Tooth scaling, a process involving the removal of plaque and calculus, is commonly employed to alleviate symptoms and prevent the progression of periodontal disease. Dentists develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to each individual’s needs, considering the severity of the condition and the health of the roots of teeth to ensure effective management and restoration of oral health.


Understanding the factors contributing to lifting gums in the back is pivotal for proactive oral health management. Whether the issue stems from poor oral hygiene, gum disease, or other underlying causes, early recognition and intervention are key to preventing further complications. Regular dental check-ups, proper oral care routines, and a healthy lifestyle can significantly contribute to gum health. By addressing the question of “Why Is My Gum Lifting in the Back?” head-on, individuals can take the necessary steps to promote gum health, ensuring a confident and vibrant smile for years to come.




Richard Mark

Hi, I'm Richard Mark, a dentist with a focus on gum health. I have a lot of experience and I'm currently working on my PhD in dentistry. I started Dentist Decode in 2023 to share information and help people take care of their teeth.