White Spots

Consult with Your Dentist About White Spots

White spots on the gums are often the result of irritation to the delicate tissues inside your mouth, especially irritation resulting from rough or ill-fitting dentures, partials and other dental appliances. Sometimes white spots on the gums are a sign of gum cancer.

Your dentist can help you determine the cause of the white spots on your gums and take a biopsy when necessary to rule out cancer of the gums. Your dentist can suggest a course of treatment and monitor the healing process to ensure the white spots on your gums fade as quickly as possible.

Dentists use the medical term "leukoplakia" to describe white spots on gums. Leukoplakia affects the mucous membranes lining the inside of your mouth. During leukoplakia, thick white patches develop on your gums. These white spots may also develop on the inside of your cheeks, on the bottom of your mouth and, sometimes, on your tongue. You cannot scrape leukoplakia white spots off your gums or other areas of your mouth.

Leukoplakia patches are often white in color but may be gray in some areas. These spots usually have an uneven shape and have a slightly raised, firm surface. Contact with spicy or acidic foods may cause pain. Sometimes the white spots have a fuzzy appearance, a condition doctors call "hairy leukoplakia."