Oral Mucosa: What Do the White Patches in My Mouth Mean?

Oral Mucosa: What Do the White Patches in My Mouth Mean?

March 10, 2020 12:31 pm Published by

Oral mucosa is a vital component of everybody’s mouth. It is simply the mucous membrane lining the inside of your mouth, including your gums. In addition to acting like a protective layer, the oral mucosa helps you speak, chew and swallow when moistened with saliva. If the inside of your mouth is not quite alright, the oral mucosa will communicate this to you. In this article, our top dental experts at Drs Nicolas & Asp explain what the different abnormalities in the oral mucosa could mean and when you should seek dental help.

  • What could be causing white patches to appear inside my oral cavity?

There are several reasons for white patches to start showing inside your mouth, and depending on the cause, the patches’ appearance will differ.

  • Viral Diseases

While infections with chickenpox and measles have become quite rare – thanks to immunizations; measles would cause small, white spots with a bluish center to develop on the inside of cheeks. Similarly, chicken pox causes mouth lesions to develop, which would later rupture and form shallow ulcers.

The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) would also cause cold sores or fever blisters to recurrently appear on your lips or the inside of your mouth. In addition, the hands, foot and mouth disease (common in children), produces small oral ulcers, bleeding gums and tiny red spots.

  • Compromised immunity

People with compromised immune systems may develop oral thrush, a fungal infection which is characterized by white patches that slough off, leaving bleeding sores behind. Another condition which may affect the oral mucosa due to weakened immune systems or as a result of taking certain medications is oral lichen planus. It causes white, lacy patches to appear on the inside of the cheeks, as well as painful, open sores and swelling.

  • Oral Cancer

The main sign to look out for with oral cancer is white or red patches in the oral cavity. Oral cancer can affect the mouth, tongue or back of the throat, and while it is often curable, survival rates significantly drop if not diagnosed early.

At Drs Nicolas & Asp, our highly qualified dentists are committed to providing you with the best dental care in Dubai.

During every check-up, you will be thoroughly screened for any emerging oral conditions, including oral cancer. For this reason, you should never skip your regular dental check-ups to stay safe.

Smoking and tobacco use put one at higher risk for oral cancer, and using tobacco alongside alcohol puts one at greater risk than using either substance by itself.

  • When to see my dentist?

If you experience any mouth ulcers or lesions that do not go away on their own within two to three weeks, make sure to pay your dentist a visit – whether or not the ulcers are causing you discomfort or not. The dentist would either make a diagnosis or provide you with direction on how to treat the problem. In some cases, blood tests or even a biopsy may be needed to verify the cause.

The oral mucosa can tell you a lot about your oral health, which is why it is very important to visit your dentist every six months for a routine check-up even if you believe that everything is fine. World-class periodontists are available at Drs Nicolas & Asp to take your case forward should you need any gum treatments or consultations.

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