Mystery White Lesion in the Mouth

A 40 year old female patient recently came in to my office complaining of a white spot on her gums, lower anterior (front teeth).  She popped it, and it went away. When if came back a second time, she decided to come in for a visit.

X-rays were taken to see if this came from a tooth, but the Xray seemed completely normal. After checking all the tissues I could see nothing.  I told her to come in if it happened again, or click a selfie of it and text it to me.

Well, a couple of weeks later the text arrived. The picture of slightly raised white areas, seemed pretty unremarkable.  Upon further texting she told me that she was using charcoal toothpaste…hmmm!  I have read where the charcoal products can have some side effects and told her to discontinue using that for a month.  Lo and behold there were no more white spots to report and all is well.

A lesson learned is to get a good history from the patient and keep your ears open to what’s happening. After many years of practice, this is the first ‘sensitivity to charcoal’ item I have run into but would never have figured it out had I not kept my ears open.