Common Reasons to Have Sores on Your Gums

Posted on 6/25/2019 by Keith Boenning, DDS
Common Reasons to Have Sores on Your GumsHave you noticed a sore on your gums? Chances are, it's nothing to be concerned about. There are a number of common reasons why you might get these little sores, and in most cases, they're not a sign of anything serious. In fact, with some types of sores, you really just leave them alone until they go away. Here are some of the common causes of mouth sores.

Canker Sores

A canker sore is a little white sore on your gums, lips, or even on the inside of the mouth. They don't really cause any pain, and experts aren't even sure what causes them. Usually, they go away within a few weeks, although larger canker sores can take longer. If you have a canker sore that seems unnaturally large or that lasts for over two weeks, you should call and make an appointment to have it examined.


Oral thrush causes small white sores in the mouth. These sores may look like cottage cheese. They're actually caused by a type of fungus. Oral thrush does require medication to treat, so you should certainly come in for an exam if you notice sores like this.


If you see what looks like patches of a white substance in your mouth, it may not actually be a sore at all. It might be leukoplakia. It's another issue that no one knows the cause of, but it's also not usually harmful. However, if you see any red sores within the white, then it could be an indication of cancer.

Oral Lichen Planus

The small, white sores caused by oral lichen planus indicates an autoimmune issue. There's no cure for it, but there are a number of ways to manage the symptoms. It can also indicate that you're at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, so we need to carefully monitor your oral health.

If you notice any type of sore that lasts for quite some time or that doesn't seem normal, you need to see us as soon as you can. The faster you come in, the faster we can treat the cause.
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