What does it mean when you have white gums?
White gums often suggest that something is amiss with a person’s oral health. Several conditions can cause white gums, from simple canker sores to long-term inflammatory illnesses. In rare cases, white gums can indicate oral cancer, so it is essential to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. The following conditions and situations can lead to white gums:
- canker sores;
- oral thrush;
- tooth extraction;
- teeth whitening; and,
- oral cancer.
Symptoms that may occur alongside white gums vary depending on the underlying cause. Sometimes, a person may have no other symptoms. In other cases, white gums can be accompanied by:
- sores and lesions;
- loose teeth;
- fatigue, dizziness, or weakness;
- headaches; or,
- cold hands and feet.
Keeping track of any additional symptoms can help a doctor or dentist diagnose the underlying cause. White gums are treated according to their underlying cause. Some treatments include:
- dietary changes;
- managing any chronic health conditions;
- medication for pain relief;
- salt-water rinses; and,
- avoiding smoking or chewing tobacco.
Several home remedies can alleviate the symptoms associated with white gums, although they may not necessarily treat the underlying cause:
- brushing teeth twice daily;
- flossing once a day;
- using an alcohol-free mouth rinse at least once a day;
- seeing a dentist at least twice yearly;
- cleaning the tongue with a scraper to remove bacteria and food particles;
- rinsing the mouth with salt-water;
- using a soft or medium toothbrush;
- eating a balanced diet;
- reducing sugar and alcohol consumption; and,
- quitting tobacco products.