Why are my Gums White? Major Causes

People know tooth pain or bleeding gums are reasons to seek dental care. But why are your gums white? Read on to learn what it means and what you should do if you have white gums.

Why are my Gums White?

White gums are frequently indicative of a problem with a person’s oral health. White gums can be caused by a variety of conditions, ranging from simple canker sores to long-term inflammatory illnesses.

White gums can indicate oral cancer in rare cases, so it is critical to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

What Causes White Gums?

White gums can be caused by the following conditions and situations:


Share on PintereLeukoplakia may turn the gums white but most cases are harmless.

Leukoplakia is an oral condition that can turn parts of the gums white. It causes white patches to appear in the mouth that cannot be removed with a toothbrush.

Most cases of leukoplakia are harmless, but some are precancerous.

The American Cancer Society Trusted Source advises that patches occurring alongside red lesions are more likely to be cancerous or precancerous.

Doctors do not know exactly what causes leukoplakia, but tobacco use is thought to play a role.


Anemia occurs when the body lacks healthy red blood cells. These cells are needed to carry oxygen around the body.

Anemia comes in different forms, depending on its underlying cause. Common causes include iron or vitamin B12 deficiencies, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease.

Symptoms of anemia include:

‣ fatigue

‣ dizziness

‣ weakness

‣ irregular heartbeat

‣ shortness of breath

‣ headaches

‣ cold hands and feet

People with anemia may also have pale skin, including the skin on the gums. This can cause them to look white.


Canker Sores

Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, are lesions that develop in the mouth and on the gums. They can be very painful, especially when speaking, eating, or drinking.

The ulcers are typically round or oval and have a pale center with a red border.

Canker sores that appear on the gums can make certain areas of the gumline look white. However, they do not change the color of the gums in the entire mouth.


Gingivitis is a mild form of gum (periodontal) disease. This common condition affects approximately half of all American adults. Poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis.

People with gingivitis may experience irritated, red, and swollen gums around the base of their teeth.

They may also notice loose teeth or bleeding when brushing and flossing. Over time, the condition can cause the gums to turn white and recede.

Oral Lichen Planus

Oral lichen planus causes lacy white patches to appear on the gums, tongue, and other tissue inside the mouth.

It is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes a range of other symptoms, including pain, bleeding, and gum inflammation.

People with oral lichen planus should go for regular dental check-ups, as they have an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies, mouth infections, and oral cancer.

Oral Thrush

Also known as candidiasis, oral thrush is a yeast infection that causes raised, creamy-white sores in the mouth.

The sores appear on the inside of the cheeks, the tongue, or the gums. Babies, older adults, and people with diabetes are at greater risk of oral thrush.

Tooth Extraction

The trauma of tooth extraction may cause the gums surrounding the extraction site to turn white.

Gums will usually return to their normal color within a few days.

Teeth Whitening

Getting teeth professionally whitened can cause the gums to look brighter or whiter than normal.

They should return to their usual color within a few hours.

Oral Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, around 51,000 people trusted sources in the United States will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer in 2018.

White gums are a symptom of oral cancer. This condition can spread quickly, so it is vital to be aware of other signs and symptoms, including:

‣ mouth sores that are slow to heal

‣ bleeding in the mouth

‣ growths or lumps

‣ thickening of the skin inside the mouth

‣ loose teeth

‣ tongue or jaw pain

‣ difficulty chewing or swallowing

‣ a sore throat.

Why Are Your Gums White?

Leukoplakia is a condition that causes white gums. Leukoplakia is a condition in which thick, white spots or patches form on the gums, inner cheeks, and bottom of the mouth, according to the Mayo Clinic.

They can form on the tongue as well. These white spots cannot be removed by rubbing or scraping.

The good news is that leukoplakia is usually harmless. However, on rare occasions, it can be an early sign of cancer.

Dysplasia is the medical term for this pre-cancerous condition. Dysplasia is classified as mild, moderate, or severe by the American Cancer Society.

The severity of your dysplasia will guide your treatment because severe dysplasia is more likely to progress to cancer, whereas mild dysplasia may resolve completely.


Your gums can turn white for a variety of reasons, including canker sores and a reaction to dental procedures, as well as more serious underlying conditions such as oral cancer. As a result, if your gums turn white, you should see your doctor right away. Please, kindly share this content on all the available social media platforms.

CSN Team.

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