Gums are designed to cover the alveolar portion of your teeth and the jaws. The gums are an extremely important part of your body and can actually affect your health. Tartar and gum disease can actually be indicators of heart health. The gums can absorb anything that you have in your mouth, which means you need to keep them healthy if you want to take care of your overall health.
When your gums are not cared for properly, you can end up developing a variety of medical conditions like recession of the gums, periodontitis and gingivitis. You may also notice problems like white spots or patches around your gums. These may make you worried initially, so we will cover the variety of reasons why this can happen and how you can prevent it through good oral hygiene.
The Causes of White Gums Around Teeth
There are several different reasons why white gums around the teeth can happen. Often, these will look like white patches or white spots. By looking at the possible causes, you can narrow down the reason why you are experiencing this symptom.
1. Yeast Infection
Normally, the yeast known as Candida albicans is within your mouth and does not cause any major problems. When this yeast becomes overgrown, it can cause white patches to develop on your inner cheeks and tongue. These white patches can also occasionally develop on the the back of your gums and throat. Once Candiadiasis starts to develop, it can travel to other parts of your body. While it is rare, untreated yeast infections can lead to death. This common infection is fortunately easily treated with antibiotics. Go to your doctor, get the treatment and you should be fine.
2. Mouth Cancer
When you first have white patches in your mouth, you may panic and assume that it is cancer. While the other conditions on this list are actually more common reasons, mouth cancer is a possible cause. One symptom of mouth cancer is a white- or red-colored patch around your teeth. Other symptoms include pain or stiffness in your jaw, the formation of a lump, loosening of your teeth, white gums around your teeth, pain while chewing or swallowing, a sore that does not heal or a sore throat.
There are many contributing factors that can increase the chances of getting oral cancer, but anyone can really get it. Some common risk factors include HPV, tobacco usage and heavy alcohol consumption. Excessive exposure of your lips to the sun can also increase your risk. The treatment of mouth cancer depends entirely on where it is at and how far along the cancer is. Treatments may include radiation therapy, surgery or chemotherapy.
3. Following Dental Surgery
After you have a tooth extraction, it is normal to have white gums around your teeth. Normally, this is not a sign that you should be really concerned about. If the white area is extremely large or does not go away, then you should call your dentist about the complications. White tissue happens after a tooth extraction for reasons like a lack of blood supply or dead gum tissue.
Most patients will see the dead tissue resolve within just a few weeks. Some patients may also develop dry sockets after a tooth extraction because a blood clot forms in the empty socket and is then dislodged. As always, talk to your dentist about any symptoms and to learn what to expect after your tooth extraction.
This condition can cause thick, white layers to develop on your gums. Known as leukoplakia, this condition is often caused by chewing tobacco. While the condition itself is not dangerous, it can be an indicator that you are in the early ages of oral cancer. Because of this, it is important to go to your dentist if you experience this symptom and quit using tobacco if you currently smoke or chew.
5. Gum Irritation
One of the most common causes of white gums around teeth is due to irritation. Something may have irritated your gums and caused them to become damaged. This can happen from treating your teeth with home-whitening kits or from chipping or breaking a tooth. In addition, smoking or chewing tobacco can end up causing gum irritation. Whatever the cause is, you should remove it from your lifestyle if you want to prevent this from happening again. Heavy tobacco users may also need to visit their dentist more frequently to make sure that this condition does not turn into something more serious.
Gingivitis is a another common reason for gum issues. This common gum disease leads to white gums around teeth and inflammation in your gum tissue. You may also experience symptoms like bleeding gums, foul breath and receding gums. If you have gingivitis, there are medicines that can easily treat it. In addition, practicing good oral hygiene techniques can prevent gingivitis and help with healing.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
If you want to prevent gum problems, you need to practice good oral health techniques. From flossing regularly to brushing your teeth, there are ways that you can make sure that your gums and teeth stay in shape.
1. Brush the Right Way
You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day. For this to be effective, you should brush with your toothbrush at a 45-degree angel from your gum line in short, circular motions. Each tooth should be brushed 10 to 15 times, but be very gentle or you could irritate the gums or cause receding gums.
2. Skip Soda
Soda is terrible for your teeth. The acids in the soda end up softening your tooth enamel and making your teeth more likely to develop cavities. Instead of drinking soda, drink water. You can always flavor the water if you want it to have more taste.
3. Make Sure to Brush Regularly
Sugar leads to acid in your mouth and bacteria growth. This can exacerbate plaque on your teeth and gums. Make sure to brush and floss after meals as well as avoiding sugary treats as much as possible.