What Do These White Spots on My Gums Mean?

Aug 15, 2022 | Blog

Detecting white spots on your gums might make you stressed regarding your oral health. But before you assume the worst, these marks can signify mild to serious health issues. Hence, learning the causes and symptoms might help you get an idea of where your oral health stands. They can appear in patches, lace-like webs, or small spots, depending on the cause. We will tell you some causes of these white patches on your gums in this blog.

White Spots on Gums Causes

Some common reasons why white bumps appear on your gums are:

1. Canker Sores

Canker sores are the usual culprit behind the white spots on your gums. They look like red bumps with a yellow or white center. Furthermore, these open mouth lesions bring a lot of stinging pain. Moreover, the pain increases when you eat or drink something, especially if it is acidic. But you’ll only have to deal with them for around 2 weeks at most, as they usually go away by themselves.

2. Oral Thrush

When the Candida fungus accumulates in some regions of the mouth, it results in a condition called oral thrush. It has a creamy white or yellow appearance, with lesions on various areas of the mouth. You’ll notice white or yellow patches on your tongue, the roof of the mouth, inner cheeks, and gums. In addition, these white spots may be slightly raised with soreness and bleeding. Symptoms of oral thrush include:

  • A cotton-like feeling in the mouth
  • Visible cracking or bleeding at the mouth’s corners
  • Bleeding when the area is rubbed or irritated
  • Loss of taste
  • Pain under dentures for those who wear them
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • In severe cases, you’ll experience burning

3. Oral Lichen Planus

Lace-like white patches on gums and other reddish-pink mucous membranes in the mouth might be due to oral lichen planus. This chronic inflammatory condition does not cause any discomfort initially. But, with time, it might develop into red, raised patches. When the white spots on your gums and other areas turn into open mouth sores, you’ll feel discomfort and other symptoms. Oral lichen planus will feel like:

  • Burning sensation
  • Talking, brushing, and eating cause bleeding, discomfort, or irritation
  • Inflamed gums
  • Thick, painful patches on the tongue
  • Sensitivity to hot or acidic foods

4. Leukoplakia

White spots on the gums, tongue, inside of cheeks, and bottom of the mouth are also due to a condition named leukoplakia. These marks can harden gradually. However, you can’t scrape them off. Mostly leukoplakia is benign, but sometimes these white spots can be precancerous. For instance, speckled leukoplakia is likely to be precancerous. It looks like speckled white patches with redness.

Generally, leukoplakia might not bring many symptoms. But you might notice:

  • Discomfort
  • Swallowing brings ear pain
  • Increasing difficulty in fully opening your mouth

What Now?

When you see white spots on your gums, the first thing to do is visit your dentist or periodontist. They’ll detect the cause and suggest appropriate treatment. Our Champions Dental team is always looking forward to helping you. Give us a call at (281) 866-0442.

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, a Texas native with roots in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts a diverse educational and professional background. After completing his Biology degree at Texas A&M, he transitioned from teaching to dentistry, earning his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Garza’s commitment to excellence for over 15 years, is evident through his extensive education in various dental specialities, culminating in prestigious accolades like the Fellowship Award in 2016 and the Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2020, achieved by less than 2% of dentists. 


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