According to WebMD, white spots on the gums are a common symptom of leukoplakia, a condition caused by chronic irritation of the oral tissue. Leukoplakia is most common in senior citizens, but it can develop in individuals of all ages. Common causes of leukoplakia include irritation from dental fillings or ill-fitting dentures, chronic smoking, immune deficiencies and oral cancer. Leukoplakia is treated by removing the source of oral irritation.
Better Medicine explains that white patches on the gums are also caused by long-term alcohol use, celiac disease and candidiasis. It is important for individuals with white spots or patches on their gums to consult with a medical or dental professional in order to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. While many causes of white spots are common and treatable, the spots can also indicate a serious underlying condition, such as oral cancer.
According to MedlinePlus, white spots on the gums are a common symptom of canker sores, which are painful open ulcers that are white to yellow in the center and surrounded with a red border. Canker sores are caused by stress, hormonal fluctuations, vitamin deficiencies and mouth injury. Canker sores appear on the tongue, inside of the cheeks, roof of the mouth and base of the gums. In most cases, canker sores disappear on their own within three weeks, but it is important for sufferers to seek medical attention if the sores are persistent or accompanied by fever.