The inside of your mouth has a predominantly pinkish appearance. Presence of a white patch or spot is hard to ignore. Once you notice white patches, your next action should be to call your doctor, and fix an appointment. Though white patches in mouth are most of the time not alarming, they need to be diagnosed well. Discussion with your doctor will help rule out the possibility of any serious underlying disorder. If the doctor suspects some sort of medical complication, timely diagnosis will prove to be of great assistance in its treatment.
Causes of White Patches in the Oral Cavity
- One of the prominent causes of white patches in mouth is lichen planus, a chronic recurrent rash. It is an autoimmune disorder that involves the formation of lacy white patches on the gums, tongue, palate, and other parts of the mouth. In severe cases, it may spread to the throat and the esophagus.
- Leukoplakia results in development of thick, white patches on the tongue and the lining of the cheeks. Any kind of irritation, smoking, and chewing tobacco increase the risk of developing leukoplakia. Mild leukoplakia symptoms may go away on their own. However, redness in the spots may be a sign of cancer. It should be treated well on time. Severe symptoms of leukoplakia are often linked with oral cancer.
- Candidiasis is a common condition that leads to such white patches. It is a fungal infection caused by a yeast called 'Candida albicans'. The white patches formed in the mouth are cottage cheese-like in appearance and consistency.
- Syphilis can also cause white patches in throat and mouth.
- Frictional keratosis is another condition that can lead to such white patches. It occurs due to regular friction from teeth and dentures. It mostly appears as a white line anywhere in the mouth, more commonly on the gum or cheek.
- The cause behind the appearance of white patches on the roof of the mouth, in a tile-like pattern with small red spots, is smoking. The ingredients of cigarette smoke induce inflammatory reactive changes in the uppermost layer of the skin that lines the mouth. The white patches in mouth from smoking may turn red after 3-4 weeks.
How to Get Rid of the White Patches
- Avoid eating foodstuffs that irritate your mouth. It will help a lot in curing lichen planus.
- Avoid smoking, and avoid drinking very hot tea or coffee.
- Place a moist wet tea bag on the white patches to reduce discomforts like pain, burning sensation, and irritation.
- In order to cure candidiasis, eat a cup of yogurt with live cultures.
- Make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water in equal ratio, and dab directly on the rough white patches.
- Prepare a solution of milk of magnesia and Benadryl lotion in equal amounts. Swish it for 2 minutes, and spit out.
- Stay away from tobacco and smoke to get rid of white patches from chewing tobacco.
- You may take non-prescription antiviral medication for leukoplakia.
- Avoid eating spicy and abrasive foods.
- Stay away from alcohol.
- Remove the source of irritation to treat frictional keratosis. Fix an appointment with your dentist. The irregular surface on a denture, a filling, or an original tooth can be smoothed.
Seeking medical intervention becomes even more important, if the white patches last for more than 3 weeks. Trying out the above home remedies will help in coping with the discomfort, while you undergo medical treatment for the white patches.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.