Q. I have a painless, small, white dot on my gums. What could it be?

Answered by
Dr. Paras Angrish
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 23, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 18, 2020

Hi doctor,

I have a small white dot on my gums. It looks like a whitehead. I noticed it a couple of days ago. It is painless. It is just above my left canine. I do not know what it is. It is towards the top of the gum. I have attached the photo.

Can you suggest what it could be? I am scared of the dentist, so any option avoiding that would be nice.



Welcome to

It looks like a minor aphthous ulcer, which gives no pain and subsides by itself. Please check if there is any pus discharge, pain in the tooth and any other area of the mouth also has this kind of spots. Aphthous ulcer often causes minimal symptoms or problems.

Oral ulcers are small round or ovoid ulcers of 2 - 4 mm in diameter. They are round or ovoid in most situations but are often more linear in common site. They have an ulcer floor that is initially yellowish white and surrounded by an erythematous halo or redness.

They are found mainly on the mobile mucosa of the lips, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, sulci or below the tongue. Yours is in between the junction of gums and sulcus of the cheek, so it is a soft mucosa looks like to be. They occur in groups of only a few ulcers that is, one to six at a time. In your case, you have one only.

They heal in 7 to 10 days, and they may recur at intervals of one to four months. They leave little or no evidence of scarring. If it pains, then you can apply pain relieving gel. If it does not subside in a week or 10 days, then do visit your dentist.

Differential diagnosis:

Aphthous ulcer.

Preventive measures:

Do not eat spicy food.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult a dentist online.--->

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is white spots on gums?

White spots can be due to various reasons like ulcer, leukoplakia,candidiasis (fungal infection) , lichen planus or sinus opening (for pus discharge due to any underlying abscess).


What are mouth sores?

They are the ulcers found in the oral cavity, mostly aphthous ulcer (canker sore) or traumatic ulcer. They can be due to various other reasons like stress, cheek biting, fungal infection, oral cancer. It is important to get consulted from your dentist if the ulcer does not heal within a week or becomes large soon.


White spots on gums after tooth extraction

This is due to trauma to the gums during extraction and thereafter less oxygen to these tissues. The gums heal and return to their normal color within a few days.


Are white spots on gums normal?

It can be due to a mild issue like plaque or aphthous ulcer to a larger underlying condition like candidiasis, leukoplakia.


Painful white spots on gums.

A painful white spot on gums most commonly indicates an aphthous ulcer, commonly known as canker sore. Sometimes it can be due to traumatic ulcer or some underlying lesion like candidiasis or lichen planus.


Canker sore on gums

This is usually aphthous stomatitis, which is an ulcer caused due to various factors like stress, immune disorders, vitamin and minerals deficiencies, allergies or trauma.


Can mouthwash cause white spots in mouth?

Yes, sometimes components of the mouthwash or even toothpaste may cause white striae, plaques or spots in the mouth. It is advisable to be careful while using a new product along with the quantity and method of its usage. If you notice any reaction or white spots after changing your oral hygiene products, consult your dentist for the management.


White spot on gums but no pain

When there is a white spot on gums that does not cause any pain, it can be most commonly due to a precancerous condition like leukoplakia or oral submucous fibrosis, candidiasis.


How to get rid of white gums?

Maintain oral hygiene properly by brushing properly twice daily and flossing as deposits can affect the gums. If it is aphthous ulcer, this cures by itself in a week or so. Symptomatic relief can be done using topical anesthetic gel. If it is due to other conditions, proper examination followed by treatment for the underlying cause has to be done, like for candidiasis antifungal can be used.


Can a mouth sore indicate cancer?

Most commonly, an oral ulcer or mouth sore is due to aphthous stomatitis or trauma due to brushing, cheek biting, etc. If you happen to see a chronic non-healing ulcer that shows changes with time, it is mandatory to get it checked as this can be indicative of oral cancer. Any ulcer that does not heal or show regression in a week’s time needs medical attention.

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