What Are These White Spots on My Gums?

Blonde woman wearing a black shirt covers her mouth due to embarrassing white spots on her gums

At Springhurst Hills Dentistry, we encourage our patients to maintain effective at-home oral hygiene routines so they can avoid developing serious dental conditions. A good oral hygiene routine not only involves brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing each day, it also entails regularly examining your mouth for any unusual changes. Today we want to talk about an oral development that may be cause for concern: white spots on your gums.

What Causes White Spots on Gums?

If you notice white spots on your gums, this can either be a minor development that heals on its own or a sign of a serious condition. White spots have a number of different causes, such as canker sores, oral thrush, oral lichen planus, and leukoplakia.

  1. Canker Sores
  2. Canker sores are small yellow or white mouth ulcers that have a red border. While they may have a burning or stinging sensation, especially when exposed to acidic beverages, canker sores typically aren’t serious and usually go away on their own in one to three weeks.

  3. Oral Thrush
  4. Oral thrush occurs when an overgrowth of Candida fungus accumulates around the mouth. If you notice creamy white or cheesy yellow spots on your gums, tongue, cheeks, or the roof of your mouth, this may be oral thrush. Generally, we treat oral thrush with antifungal medication.

  5. Oral Lichen Planus
  6. This condition causes lacey white patches on gums and inside the mouth. Occasionally, these patches develop into painful red patches or open sores. To treat oral lichen planus, we may use a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation as well as other medications to treat the condition.

  7. Leukoplakia
  8. Indicators of leukoplakia include white or gray patches around the mouth that harden and thicken over time. Although this condition usually isn’t painful, it is serous. Leukoplakia can be precancerous, so we will take a biopsy to test whether we need to remove it. Tobacco products are a common cause of leukoplakia so be sure to avoid or quit chewing tobacco and smoking.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

Let us know if you notice any unusual white spots in your mouth. Our team can help you determine whether they are cause for concern. To ask us any questions or schedule your next appointment, contact our office today.




Posted on behalf of Dr. Lan Tran, Springhurst Hills Dentistry

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Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd, Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 365-9699

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Springhurst Hills Dentistry

Springhurst Hills Dentistry