dental care


White Spots in Mouth

by Marius, Answer by the Dentist

I received a question from one of the readers, Marius in Oslo. He has a problem with white spots in mouth:

Dear Dentist,
I struggle with tender white "spots" inside my mouth. What do you think this can be and what can I do about it ?

Many patients experience changes of appearance or surface alterations in the mucus membrane in the mouth without knowing what it is. It’s good to know that most of the conditions are harmless even though they can be extremely annoying and painful. One of the most common conditions that cause white spots in mouth is aphtous ulcers. About 10-20 percent of the population suffers from these painful sores. This makes recurrent aphthous stomatitis one of the most common oral conditions.

Aphthae or aphthous ulcers, also known as canker sores, can be one or many white spots surrounded by a red halo, almost always on the loose part of your gum or mucous membrane. The sores can be extremely painful and some patients even experience fever, even though this is not common. The ulcers recur 1-20 times a year. Usually patients between 10 and 30 years of age are affected by apthous ulcers. What causes these white spots in mouth are not fully understood, but the suggestions are traumas (e.g. biting your cheek), citrus fruits, nutrition disturbances (vitamin B12-, folic acid- and irondefiency), hormonal changes, stress, fatigue, and bacterial or viral infections. One of the important things to consider if you experience white spots in your mouth, is what kind of toothpaste you use. Toothpaste containing Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS or NaDS) should be avoided. Sodium lauryl sulfathe is the agent in toothpaste making the foam – but this is a detergent and it peels and sheds your mucous membrane, making it more vunerable. When you have troubles with white spots in mouth it’s important to keep your mucus membrane strong and healthy. Remember therefore to consider your diet – you should eat iron-containing food, greens and vegetables and supply with vitamins and minerals if your diet is unbalanced. Avoid spicy foods, keep proper oral hygiene - and change your brand of toothpaste to a mucosa-friendly one!

Nevertheless; it’s always recommendable to visit your dentist if you are worried about and plagued by white spots!

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