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White patches on gums, molar teeth needs root canal, chewed tobacco for years. What could it be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 2685 Questions
I have noticed two very small white "patches" that look like little tiny pimples on the bottom of my gums at each corner. There are about 4 "pimples" in each patch. I think it might be related to one of my lower molars which is pretty much just a hole and needed a root canal. Would just love to know what those pimple things are. I have chewed tobacco for maybe 10 years and havent chewed in that area where the patches are for a while. what could it be?
Posted Fri, 8 Jun 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 3 hours later

Thanks for your query.

After having a look at the image what i consider it be is Gingival recession (receding gums) which refers to exposure in the roots of the teeth caused by a loss of gum tissue and/or retraction of the gingival margin from the crown of the teeth.

This when happens exposes the lower portions of the teeth which have rough surfaces and dentine nodules which appear as pimples.

Cause of such gum recession may tobacco,tooth crowding, fragile or insufficient gingival tissue,overaggressive brushing , deficiency of vitamin C,Sensitivity to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), an ingredient in most commercial toothpastes.

The exact cause has to be found out and removed.

Given below are some points to be considered for treatment of gum recession :

1)Make sure your dentist teaches you how to properly brush and floss.
2)Use only ultrasoft toothbrushes.
3)Make sure your bite is comfortable and has been adjusted if necessary.
4)Consider orthodontic therapy to realign your teeth into proper position, which can also increase the zone of gum tissue.
5)Consider gum grafting to increase the zone of attached gingiva or gum tissue; you may even want to consider covering the roots of your teeth.
6)Continue to wear a night guard each night to reduce stress on your teeth when sleeping.
7)Avoid putting any foreign objects into your mouth that might cause gum recession.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: White patches on gums, molar teeth needs root canal, chewed tobacco for years. What could it be? 10 hours later
So it isnt anything too serious, like life threatening? Will they go away on their own and if so, how long does it take? They do not hurt at all and I don't notice them unless I am looking for them in the mirror.
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 6 hours later
Hi again,

Thanks for writing back.

No , it is not life threatening.They do not subside on their own. Do follow the instructions I have mentioned in my last post for a speedy recovery.

Hope I answered all your questions. Please use any answer clarification before closing and rating this answer. I will be happy to explain or expand on any issue you may have

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: White patches on gums, molar teeth needs root canal, chewed tobacco for years. What could it be? 2 days later
I'm not sure if you can see the "pimples" in the picture but they are maybe a 1/4" below the gum line. Do you still think they are due to gum recession? Do you think a tooth infection due to one of my lower molars would cause this? Because one of my molars was really hurting then just stopped and I think those pimples popped up around that time.
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 1 hour later

The pimples you have are not related to infection,If it was due to infection there would swelling and redness in the entire gum area.

The tooth you showed in the image are incisors. Its very rare for an incisor to present with infection.

The lesions are due to the gum disease you have .Do follow the instructions I mentioned above,it will help.

Wish you a speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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