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Gum Diseases

White, pussy gums

10/31/2007

Question:

My daughter-in-law woke up a few days ago with white gums, soon afterwards she went to the ER because her tonge and the rest of her mouth was swelling. She had Strep thoat the week before and was taking antibotics. Soon after being released from the ER with no questions answered (they dont know what was wronge) Her gums started to get puss in them. Any information on this would be very helpfull.

Answer:

Basically it can be due to two reasons:

1- She already had some type of candida or virus in her mouth (more likely candida). By taking antibiotic for bacterial infection, regular health related bacterial load goes down and candida comes up and starts growing.

2- Can be virutic infection (mostly herpes). Again due to antibiotic usage, virus infection may become stronger. However, this does not start as "white". It generally starts as little bristles, getting ready to burst out and causing ulcerations all over the oral mucosa.

2- Or it can be what we call necrotizing periodontal disease. Caused by bacteria and immunosuppression (mainly stress and in HIV positive patients, it is related with lower CD4+ cell counts). However, this generally starts at the tip of interdental gum and spreads to gums. Generally it does not affect tongue and oral mucosa. It only affects those areas in very severe cases (called necrotizing stomatitis).

In any case, need to be examined and treated by a dentist and possibly by a specialist.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University