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Mouth Diseases

White Spots on my Gums

10/26/2009

Question:

Hi, i have just came from my dentist, where i was told i have white spots on my gums, she said not to worry (its hard not to now shes told me) but has refered me to my local hosital, (where they have a dentistry dept) she said they would look at it and maybe do a biopsy to see wot it was. Im starting to read allsorts of things that are frightening, and was just wondering wot its likely to be. I used to wear braces a couple of years back, and i have a habit of biting the sides of my cheeks. Ive never noticed it before and it does`nt hurt. They are on my gums, one on each side of my mouth. Any suggestions would be great.

thanks.

Answer:

There are a number of things that can cause white spots on the gums, and without actually seeing you I can only speculate on what is occurring.

Based upon the fact hat your dentist has referred you to a hospital dental facility to have it biopsied is not grounds to worry, but then that is easier said than done.

White spots on the lips and buccal tissues and sometimes on the gingiva could be Fordyce granules, but they are not common on the gums. They can occur in the buccal vestibule, (but then I don't know what you consider gums and so I have included that response). Fordyce granules or sebaceous glands can have a whitish yellow appearance and may go unnoticed until you actually start looking in the mouth. They are also normal structures that are present in the oral cavity.

You also may have a contact reaction or hypersensitivity to either dental materials or tooth paste (Cinnamon). The same thing holds true for whitening materials (carbamide peroxides and other oxidizing agents) can cause an allergic tissue response (Lichenoid response). Also bony protuberances or projections on gingival-covered tissues can appear as white or light pink bumps/spots on the gums. Finally, you may have inflamed minor salivary glands, on the labial aspects of the lips or buccal (cheek) tissues that may appear as white bumps.

Again, I would need to see this in person, and since you will probably have it biopsied, a more definitive diagnosis can be made, rather than my presumptive diagnosis.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University