Many conditions can cause white gums. This ranges from less severe causes like mouth ulcers to yeast infections or cancer. Healthy gums are pink in nature. They can be, however, red from poor oral hygiene. White gums, on the other hand, can be a symptom of an underlying health problem.
Read on to learn more about what conditions could cause your gums to turn white.
Causes For White Gums
Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of the gums caused by poor brushing and flossing habits. As a result, your gums could turn white and recede.
Other symptoms of gingivitis include:-
gums bleed when you brush or floss
inflamed red gums.
- Canker Sores:
Canker sores are painful mouth ulcers. They are found inside your cheeks, underneath your tongue, or at the bottom of your gums.
They can be painful to the touch and can trigger pain when you eat and drink.
These types of sores have yellow or white centers. If they develop at the bottom of your gums, they can make your gums appear white.
However, canker sores cannot be the reason causing your white gums if the white color covers your entire gum line.
Anemia is a medical condition that results in a low number of red blood cells. These types of blood cells are essential for moving oxygen throughout the tissues and organs of your body.
The causes of anemia can vary due to a lack of iron or vitamin B-12 in your diet.
It also sometimes results from other medical conditions, such as inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s.
Extreme fatigue is one of the first signs of anemia. Other immediate symptoms include:-
Feeling out of breath
Paleness in the skin.
Pale skin results from a lack of oxygen from anemia. Which also affects your gums. With anemia, you won’t only have white gums, but you’ll notice the overall paleness of your skin.
Oral candidiasis is a yeast infection that develops inside your mouth. It’s caused by the same fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections.
Oral candidiasis can spread from the lining of your mouth to your gums and tongue. The fungal infection may look white or red, or even both simultaneously. If the fungus spreads to your gums, they will look white.
Leukoplakia is also a condition responsible for your gums to appear white.
It consists of thick, white patches that cover your gums, tongue, and the insides of your cheeks.
Sometimes, the patches are so thick that they have a hairy appearance.
This condition most often results from lifestyle habits that consistently irritate your mouth from smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Oral Cancer:
In some cases, white gums can indicate a more severe condition, such as oral cancer, known as oral cavity cancer. This cancer spreads quickly, affecting your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth.
You will start to notice small, flat, and thin bumps around these areas. This could be white, red, or flesh-colored.
- Tooth Extraction:
If you have a tooth extracted by a dentist, you may notice that the gums near the tooth turn white. This is because of the trauma of the procedure.
Your gums should return to their standard color a few days after the procedure.
Treatments For White Gums
Practicing brushing and flossing habits and seeing your dentist twice a year can help treat gingivitis.
Your dentist may also recommend scaling, root planning, or laser cleaning for more advanced cases.
Canker sores are among the most manageable causes of white gums, as they tend to heal without treatment within one to two weeks. When a canker sore worsens within 14 days, it could mean that the ulcer is getting serious.
Your doctor may recommend a prescription mouth rinse or topical ointment if you have multiple canker sores.
Treatment for anemia will include dietary changes that may help you get the iron and vitamin B-12 in your red blood cells. You will be recommended with vitamin C supplement, which helps your body absorb iron more efficiently.
Oral candidiasis is treated with a prescription of antifungal medication.
If you are diagnosed with leukoplakia, the treatment will involve correcting the lifestyle. For example, if you smoke, you should stop. Once you have leukoplakia, there’s a chance the condition will return. Check your gums, and inform your dentist about any changes you notice.
More than half of the infected oral cancer cases aren’t detected until the cancer has already spread throughout the mouth and to the lymph nodes, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The Treatment largely depends on the stage of cancer you have and may include chemotherapy and surgically removing parts of your mouth or lymph nodes affected by the tumor.
A short-term condition such as a canker sore may ultimately be just a temporary condition. However, chronic illnesses like inflammatory diseases will require long-term treatment to control white gums and other symptoms. Oral cancer is a serious cause of white gums and, hence, needs immediate treatment.
Furthermore, you must visit your dentist if you notice any unusual changes in your mouth or white gums that don’t resolve after one to two weeks.
For queries, visit and contact us. Brenham Family Dental.