What Does It Mean If You Have White Stuff On Your Gums?

If you have white stuff on your gums, then you may be slightly concerned. This is normal and understandable, but there are things that you can do to try and make yourself much more comfortable.

What is this White Stuff?

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why are my gums white?” or “What’s the white stuff on my gums?” you’re not alone. The presence of white dots on gums or a white line on gums below teeth may be a cause for concern.

White spots on your gums may well be in the form of patches, or you might have small spots. On the other hand, you may notice that the white stuff is in a lace-like web. The white stuff may be thick, or it may be painful. You may even have white stuff on teeth near gums. White spots on your gums can indicate a mild health issue that may well resolve on its own or it may be a much more serious indicator that there is something wrong like oral cancer cases.

Causes of White Spots on Gums

There are many causes of white spots on your gums, with or without poor oral hygiene. Some of which can be found below.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are the main cause of having white spots on your gums. They normally start out as red spots and they may have a yellow or white spot right in the middle.  Canker sores tend to be accompanied by a stinging pain. It’s very possible for this to become aggravated when you are drinking or eating, especially if it is something acidic.


Oral thrush is a fungal infection caused by the overgrowth of naturally occurring yeast in the sensitive mouth tissues called Candida fungus and it gathers in a specific area of the mouth. You may begin to notice creamy white or even yellow lesions on your gums, the roof of your mouth or even on your inside cheek. You may have white gums around tooth or white sticky stuff on your teeth. The lesions may be raised, and they can cause you soreness and very minor bleeding.

Oral Lichen Planus

This condition can present itself as lacey patches on the gums or the mucus membranes around the mouth. This white patch on gum is an inflammatory condition and although you may not experience direct discomfort, you may find that this develops into red or raised patches and open sores. This can cause you symptoms and discomfort in general.


Leukoplakia is a small white patch that may appear on your gums or even on the bottom of your mouth. It’s also possible for it to appear on the inside of your cheeks. The patches may thicken or harden over time and they cannot be scraped off. A lot of cases for this condition are benign but some may actually end up being precancerous. Speckled patches, or white patches with some redder areas are much more likely to be precancerous.

Common Symptoms

So now you know the things you need to look out for, it’s time to delve into the symptoms of white spots on my gums. There are various symptoms that can accompany white spots on your gums. The symptoms accompanying the white film in your mouth, white dots on gums, or white gummy stuff in your mouth can vary depending on the cause:

Canker Sores

Canker sores for example tend to be very small, and they are either yellow or white spots on gums that hurt. The border is usually red in color. Other symptoms of major cankor sores include a burning sensation or stinging which may well occur before the sore appears. They normally occur on their own, but it’s not that uncommon to see them in clusters. Spicy or acidic foods may cause more pain. 

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush lesions can have a cottage cheese appearance and they may be raised. You may also experience cracking or bleeding if the area is especially irritated. Loss of taste and having a cotton-like feeling in your mouth is also very common.

Oral Lichen Planus

With oral lichen planus, you will find that you have lacey raised patches and this can develop into red raised patches. Some of the symptoms can include burning sensations, sensitivity to foods that are hot or acidic and bleeding. You may also experience inflammation of the gums and thickened patches on the tongue.


Leukoplakia causes white or gray patches on the mouth that can easily thicken or harden. It isn’t painful and it can often go undetected for this reason. If you have very severe symptoms then you may find that you experience discomfort, ear pain when you swallow or even the inability to open your mouth properly.

Treating the White Film on Inside of Lips and Mouth

The treatment for the white gunk in your mouth largely depends on its cause. If you want to seek the right treatment, then look below.

Canker Sores

Minor canker sores will resolve on their own in a week. You may also want to use a mouth rinse or any other kind of topical product. It may also help you to use products which contain lidocaine.

Oral Thrush

The treatment here would usually be an antifungal medication. This can be in a tablet form or it can be in the form of a lozenge.

Oral Lichen Planus

Oral lichen planus treatment may include using corticosteroids to reduce any inflammation. These can be injectable, topical or oral. You may also get some pain relief to help you to suppress any pain.


You may need to have your Leukoplakia tested to ensure that it is not precancerous at all. Your dentist will most likely take a biopsy and then make sure that it is safe to remove. When this has been done, your dentist will remove the Leukoplakia with a scalpel or a laser. This will freeze or destroy any cells. You will of course, be numbed before it is removed. If you smoke or consume any kind of tobacco then stop right away. This could be causing your Leukoplakia.

How to Prevent Oral Lesions and White Spots

If you want to try and stop any white spots or lesions from occurring or even coming back, then you need to make sure that you maintain a good level of oral hygiene. You also need to make sure that you do everything you can to attend regular dentist appointments, including routine dental cleanings and deep dental cleaning if your dental hygienist advises. To prevent a white buildup on teeth and white lines on gums you need to brush your teeth after your meals and brush your tongue with a soft or medium toothbrush and a good fluoride toothpaste. Cleaning your tongue with a scraper can also help you out quite a lot here. 

Remember, oral thrush thrives in a dark and damp environment. Therefore, keeping your mouth clean can help prevent this fungal infection and prevent tooth decay. Your dental health is worth it!

It may also be wise to avoid using toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain sodium lauryl sulphate. Use an sodium lauryl sulphate and alcohol free mouth rinse instead. Remember that stress can aggravate your immune system too. If you need some additional help, then make sure that you contact your dentist to see if they are able to give you the help and support you need for your oral health and stop any whitening of the gums or mouth.

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