Nothing can make your smile feel less glamorous than off color spots anywhere in the mouth. White spots on the gums can be particularly troublesome. Sure, they look wrong, but, more importantly, they also signal that something is out of balance in your oral health, an indicator of your overall health. When you want to tackle white spots on your gums and improve your health, you will need to identify the underlying cause so you can select the correct method to treat the problem. With the help of your dentist, you can effectively deal with the white spots on your gums and get the healthy, beautiful smile you desire back.
ISSUE: I need to deal with round or oval spots with red edges and white or lightly yellowed centers.
PROBABLE CAUSE: Canker Sores
TREATMENT: Canker sores are also caused mouth ulcers. They can be caused by injuries or irritation, malnutrition, a minor bacterial infection, or stress. Most cancer sores will heal in a few weeks, although major sores can take more than a month to clear up. Keeping your mouth clean and treating an overgrowth of bacteria with a rinse can help sores heal. It’s also worth controlling stress and correcting any dietary deficiencies to prevent further outbreaks. Canker sores can be painful, so consult your dentist for help for any slow healing spots.
ISSUE: I need to deal with slightly furry or textured creamy white patchy sores that are slightly raised.
PROBABLE CAUSE: Oral Thrush
TREATMENT: Oral thrush is type of yeast infection in the mouth. It’s caused by the Candida fungus. Anyone can develop oral thrush, but babies develop it most frequently, followed by the elderly. Diabetes and antibiotics can increase the risk of developing oral thrush.
A high pH can help control the growth of Candida, so using a baking soda water rinse is a commonly recommended home remedy. High pH oral care products may be helpful, but you can consult a doctor or dentist to help treat an overwhelming infection.
ISSUE: I have white, lacy spots all over parts or all of my gums.
PROBABLE CAUSE: Oral Lichen Planus
TREATMENT: This is an autoimmune disease, so steroids prescribed by a medical professional are usually the cornerstone of a treatment plan. Certain foods may worsen symptoms, so it’s important to make sure vitamin deficiencies don’t develop. Because an inflammation of the mucous membranes is the root of oral lichen planus, controlling inflammation is likely to help control flare ups of this condition. Excellent oral care routines are vital.
ISSUE: I have flat spots that have gotten thicker and harder over time.
PROBABLE CAUSE: Leukoplakia
TREATMENT: Generally, leukoplakia is associated with ill-fitting dentures, chronic alcohol consumption, or tobacco use. Although uncommon, leukoplakia can be precancerous. It’s really important to have a dentist check over any spots in your mouth that get thicker over time rather than healing up in a short period of time. A dentist will need to remove leukoplakia spots and may send any suspicious sores removed for a biopsy. It’s important to stop using tobacco and control other behavioral factors that could contribute to poor oral health to prevent a recurrence.
With proper care and professional help, your gums can return to rosy pink health.