White Spots in Mouth – Probable Causes and Treatment

White spots or white patches in mouth can be due to varied number of causes. White spots are common symptoms of infection, trauma, inflammation and malignancy. These can result from pathogens like bacteria, fungi, or viruses as these can inflame the lining of the mouth and cause swelling, redness and ulcers as well.

These spots can appear anywhere inside the oral cavity on the mucus membrane like tongue, gums, inner cheeks and manifest in the form of groups and patches.

One of the most common causes of white spots in mouth is Oral Thrush that is a mouth infection caused by Candida, a yeast germ. This is not a serious condition and can be cured with proper treatment. Let’s look at the causes of white spots in mouth in details:

white spots in mouth

Oral Thrush

We all have a small amount of Candida albicans living in our mouth but that is healthy and harmless but when this percentage increases, it leads to Oral Thrush. Certain conditions can lead to the overgrowth of Candida and cause Oral Thrush like ill-fitting dentures, using antibacterial mouthwash for a long time, use of inhalers or steroids, intake of certain antibiotics, diabetes, lack of vitamin B12 or iron etc. Smokers and people who have a weak immune system are also more likely to get this infection.

Lichen Planus

This is not contagious in nature and results in white spots that form a spider-web pattern and it affects the mucus membrane inside the oral cavity. This condition is caused by nutritional deficiencies, tobacco chewing, allergenic reactions, smoking etc.


In this case, the white spots manifests into white patches and appear mostly near the molars on the buccal mucosa. These spots can be pulled out and are asymptotic in nature and can be caused by smoking, tobacco chewing etc.

Other Causes

Some of the other probable causes of white spots in mouth are:

  • Tonsillitis
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Keratosis pharyngis
  • Measles


The treatment depends on the causes of the white spots:

  • Anti Thrush Tablets: There are anti thrush tablets available that helps in getting rid of the thrush infection present in your body. These are recommended by the doctors when it is serious case of oral thrush. Tablets need to be taken for a period of 7 days which clears the infection usually. Oral thrush as already mentioned can be caused if you are taking some other medications like antibiotics and steroids. Doctors might change these medications or lower to dose in order to get rid of oral thrush infection.
  • In case of ill fitting dentures, these need to be replaced properly
  • Lichen planus has no treatment and the doctor might prescribe anti inflammatory drugs to sooth any inflammation and pain
  • Intake of tobacco should be stopped in case of leukoplakia and you would need to use vitamin A enriched ointment.

When you see white spots in your mouth, do not touch them and visit the doctor immediately so as to know the reason and thus start the treatment.