If you've ever experienced white spots on your lips or inside your mouth, you can attest to the fact that they can be painful, uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing.
These little white dots can range in size as well as levels of pain. Small spots may just be unsightly, and you may feel no pain from them at all. Larger ones might feel more inflamed, raised above the skin and can cause a burning sensation when touched.
There are many reasons why we have these pesky white spots. Sometimes we can pinpoint the cause, but sometimes they appear out of nowhere.
Sometimes, the causes behind the little white spots is unknown. However, there could be some contributing factors.
Poor personal hygiene
Abnormal shifts in hormones
Allergic reaction to products
Trauma to the area
People might also experience other symptoms associated with the causes of white spots such as a sore throat, fever and swollen glands.
Most white spots are nothing to worry about. They can be annoying and embarrassing, but usually harmless.
However, these little spots could indicate a more serious health condition. It's always best to seek medical advice and guidance if you want to rule out any potentially serious causes.
Conditions associated with white spots
Depending on the type of white spots you experience, you can pinpoint what they mean. However, you should always see a medical professional for a definitive diagnosis.
These are some of the most common conditions associated with white spots on the lips:
This is an infection in the mouth caused by a Herpes virus. They are commonly called "cold sores" and can feel like blisters inside your mouth or on your lips. They can be painful and last up to a week.
These bumps may also feel tender and sore to touch. They are contagious, so be mindful about things like sharing drinks. Doctors typically prescribe antiviral medication to help kill the virus.
These bumps are a little more yellowish in color and appear on the outer part of your lips or inside your mouth. These bumps will normally appear in clusters and can develop at birth.
Fordyce granules are typically painless but can cause itchiness. This condition is not contagious. Usually, these bumps go away on their own but can be treated with topical treatments prescribed by your doctor.
Bumps caused by trauma
It is possible that you have accidentally bitten your mouth or experienced some type of trauma to your lip area. This can cause lesions or bumps that may lead to small white bumps on your lips.
These types of bumps will most likely go away on their own. Just be careful when you chew food or gum as you can re-injure the same area.
As a result of oil and dirt build up, you may experience acne on your lips. These types of bumps can usually be identified because they resemble pimples and are filled with oil, just like normal acne.
You can reduce these bumps by keeping your mouth area clean. Also make sure that when you wash your face with anti-acne treatments, you also include your lips in the cleaning routine.
Oral cysts can form from an infection in your mouth. Typically, you might see these in people who have just had some type of oral surgery or piercing. Their immune systems are more vulnerable to these bumps forming inside or outside the mouth.
If you want to seek treatment for this, a doctor can puncture the cyst with a sterile needle to drain out the excess liquids.
Home remedies can sometimes be the answer to getting rid of some of the most common white spot conditions. Practicing good oral hygiene and a healthy diet are good ways to prevent these white bumps from returning. You can also rinse your mouth with warm water and salt to help sanitize your mouth and prevent the spread of infection.
Medications and topical treatments can also give temporary relief or cure the condition altogether. Going to regular and routine check-ups with your dentist can also help reduce causes and symptoms. Plus, they can catch any irregularities in your oral health such as oral cancer and other serious conditions.
Benjamin is a passionate dentist with a strong desire to see his patients happy, healthy and confident. He owns Kirkland Family Dentistry, a high end, yet affordable, dental practice. He loves spending time with friends and family.