A number of patients have white spots on the normally completely pink-looking gums. In other patients, the gums are completely white. These abnormalities of the gums have several mild but also some serious causes. In addition, the gum disease may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain or discomfort. Furthermore, there is sometimes one spot or several spots in groups are present on the gums. These vary in size, shape and texture. Patients with gingival discolorations should visit the dentist for a thorough check. The doctor will, if necessary, treat the underlying problem of gum stains or other gingival discoloration after he has made the diagnosis.
Causes of white (looking spots on) gums
Oral lichen planus
Diagnosis and research
Prognosis of white gum stains and white gingival discoloration
Prevention of white spots on the gums
Causes of white (looking spots on) gums
Aftingdevelop on the soft tissues of the mouth and around the gums. The cause is unclear, but some risk factors play a role, such as a bacterial infection, an injury or irritation of the oral tissue, stress and nutritional deficiencies. Before the canker sores appear, the patient may have tingling or a burning sensation in the mouth. Sores are oval or round in shape and have red edges. They usually have a white to pale yellow center. They cause stabbing pain, especially when eating or talking. When the patient has mild mouth ulcers, they are relatively widespread and usually heal within one to two weeks. Larger canes are usually deeper and more painful. The recovery time for these large ulcers is longer, namely up to six weeks. When canker sores last longer than fourteen days, consult a (dental) doctor for professional medical advice. The doctor then writes onemouthwash , ointment, gel and / or analgesic medication. The patient also gets the advice to rinse the mouth with salt water. If the patient suffers from severe ulcers, the doctor will take oral steroids (taken by mouth) . Laser therapy also reduces pain and promotes the healing process.
Anemia (anemia) is a condition in which the patient has a shortage of red blood cells. As a result, tissues and organs do not get enough oxygen. The disorder has various causes such as an iron deficiency or a vitamin B deficiency . Also, the Crohn’s disease (disorder with diarrhea and abdominal pain) and other inflammatory diseases may result in anemia. The blood disorder is characterized in, among other things, the following symptoms:
paleness of the skin (pallor: lack of oxygen due to anemia)
an irregular heartbeat
cold hands and feet
Changes in diet, supplements, and treatment of underlying diseases are possible treatments of anemia.
Gingivitis is the medical term for ‘ inflammation of the gums’. The bacterial infection is accompanied by loose teeth, inflamed or red gums and bleeding gums when brushing or flossing the teeth. Usually, the condition results from poor oral hygiene leading to a white-looking gum. Good brushing and floy hygiene is required in combination with a six-monthly dental visit. The dentist is able to treat gingivitis with a few procedures.
Leukoplakia is characterized by thick, white patches in the mouth that can not be removed with a toothbrush. The condition with unknown cause arises faster due to smoking or the use of chewing tobacco, the abuse of alcohol and the wearing of badly fitting dentures. The pale-looking spots may appear in combination with red lesions (erythroplakia). They are flat or irregular in shape. They further thicken or harden over time. They cause pain and discomfort when swallowing (swallowing painswallowing problems) in severe cases, although most patients experience pain. Leukoplakia is usually a benign condition, but in some patients the areas in the mouth are a precursor to oral cancer. Often, however, the presence of erythroplakia is a greater risk factor of cancer in the mouth. Stopping the use of tobacco products is recommended. Furthermore, if necessary, the doctor removes the white gingival spots with a scalpel, laser or cryotherapy (treatment via freezing). Antiviral drugs can finally be used for patients with leukoplakia who have a weak immune system.
White gums are sometimes indications of oral cancer (oral cavity cancer ). This serious condition may spread quickly ( metastases : metastases) and then affects the gums, the tongue and the palate. The patient then experiences small, flat and thin nodules around or in these areas. These are colored white, red or pink. Some patients, however, have no symptoms in oral cancer so the doctor makes the diagnosis only at a late stage where metastases is happening to other mouth areas and also to the lymph nodes (lymph node metastases). The treatment usually consists of chemotherapy and surgery, although this also depends on the cancer stage.