White spots on the gums can be of many types and can be caused due to various conditions.
White spots on your gums may form in patches, small spots, or lace-like webs. They may become thick or hard, and they may be uncomfortable or painful depending on the cause.
Oral health is the important factor for the overall health.
White spots on the gums can have many different causes. These can range from mild issues to more severe health conditions.
It’s not always a big factor to deal with it but sometimes we need to take care of everything.
There are different types of causes that can lead to white spots on gums:
Canker sores develop on the soft tissues of the mouth and around the gums. Also known as mouth ulcers, they tend to be oval or round, have red edges, have a white or slightly yellow center.
The cause is due to injury or irritation of mouth tissue, dietary deficiencies, bacteria, stress.
Canker sores can be minor or major. Minor sores are relatively widespread and usually heal within 2 weeks. Major sores tend to be deeper and more painful and can take up to 6 weeks to heal.
People with canker sores that persist for more than 14 days should consult a doctor or dentist.
Oral thrush is the other common cause, in which the Candida fungus accumulates in areas of the mouth. It can cause creamy white or yellow lesions on the gums, tongue, roof of mouth, and inner cheeks. These lesions may be slightly raised, and can cause soreness or minor bleeding.
Leukoplakia is characterized by thick, white patches in the mouth that cannot be scraped off with a toothbrush.
Doctors do not know what causes leukoplakia. But, it is likely that smoking or chewing tobacco contributes to its development. Ill-fitting dentures or long-term alcohol use may also cause leukoplakia.
Most cases of leukoplakia are benign, but some can be precancerous. However, it is areas with red lesions (erythroplakia) that are more likely to be cancerous or precancerous, according to the American Cancer Society.
4.Oral lichen planus
Oral lichen planus is thought to be a chronic inflammatory condition that can show up in white, lace-like patches on the gums and other mucous membranes inside the mouth.
While the white, lacey patches may not cause discomfort, they may develop into red, raised patches or open sores.
They may cause discomfort or other symptoms.
There are different types of symptoms according to the causes as mentioned below.
Canker sores includes symptoms like
- red edges to the sores
- stinging pain, especially when eating or talking
- tingling or burning before onset
The Oral thrush may be like cheese cottage appearance, they are often slightly raises. Symptoms include
- cracking or bleeding at the corners of the mouth
- slight bleeding if the area is rubbed or irritated
- loss of taste
- having a cottony feeling in your mouth
- pain under dentures
- redness, soreness, or a burning in severe cases
Leukoplakia symptoms include
- appear with red lesions (erythroplakia)
- be flat or irregularly-shaped
- get thicker or harden over time
- lead to discomfort or pain when swallowing in severe cases, although it is not typically painful
Oral lichen planus
Oral lichen planus can be white, lacey raised patches, though it can also develop into red, raised patches or open sores. Other symptoms include
- burning sensations
- sensitivity to hot or acidic foods
- bleeding, discomfort, or irritation when eating, talking, or brushing teeth
- inflammation of the gums
- painful, thickened patches on the tongue
Minor canker sores typically resolve within 1 to 2 weeks. Major canker sores often require treatments such as:
- oral rinses, ointments, and gels
- pain-relieving medication
- salt water rinses
Oral thrush will often be treated by an antifungal medication. This may include:
- mouth rinses you swallow
If this doesn’t work, or you’re experiencing candida problems on other areas of the body, your doctor may give you an oral anti-fungal. You can use warm saltwater mouth rinses to speed up treatment.
Doctors will advise people with leukoplakia to stop using tobacco products, as these contribute to the condition. The white patches may be removed with a scalpel, laser, or frozen off.
If a weak immune system causes the condition, a doctor may prescribe antiviral medications.
Oral lichen planus
Oral lichen planus treatment may involve corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
These can be topical, oral, or injectable. Your doctor may prescribe topical numbing agents to reduce any pain if you’re experiencing it.
They may also prescribe medications designed to suppress or control the immune system — these may include topical gels that are calcineurin inhibitors, or system medications that treat the whole body.
Why do people get white patches?
Your mouth (and tongue) are lined with a special type of skin (mucosa), which looks (mostly) pink because it is thinner than your other skin (eg on your arms and legs). Some changes to your mouth lining can change its colour to white:
- It is common for people to have a line of white along the inside of their cheeks, this is where their teeth rub against the cheek (and is quite normal).
- If you burn your mouth (eg after hot drinks or food) you can get white blisters, which usually peel off soon afterwards.
- If you have been ill for a while or haven’t moved your tongue around much, you can get a furry white tongue. This is because the skin on the taste buds has not been rubbed off normally. You can usually gently rub/scrape this off with a toothbrush.
- Mouth ulcers can be white because of thicker layers of skin cells forming that are trying to heal the injury.
- If people have poorly fitting dentures they can get ulcers or sometimes white patches forming.
Dentists and doctors are most concerned about the white patches that can’t be rubbed or scraped away. These show areas of thicker mouth lining, which can be signs of mouth conditions. lacey dentures. (implant supported dentures)
Prevention is better then cure, so you must follow these steps to take care of your oral health.
- brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, and using a mouth rinse
- using oral hygiene products that are free of sodium lauryl sulfate, as this can contribute to canker sore development
- avoiding using a very firm toothbrush as it may irritate the gums and soft tissues in the mouth
- visiting a dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings
- using a tongue scraper to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from the tongue
- practicing stress-reducing techniques, such as exercise, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation
- eating a balanced diet and limiting the intake of sugar, salt, and alcohol
- avoiding the use of tobacco and any products containing it
- addressing underlying health conditions promptly.
Paying attention to your oral health is important. It can help you spot early signs of disease, and even help to prevent certain conditions. If you notice white spots on your gums for the first time, make an appointment to see your dentist. They’ll be able to let you know if testing is needed and recommend treatment options. Take care of your so you can avoid using partial dentures.
Oral cancer most probably occurs to male than female. So take care of yourself, avoid using tobacco.