A healthy dental patient will usually have firm, pink gums. The gums are connective tissue that keep your teeth firmly in place in the mouth. You know oral hygiene will keep your teeth looking and feeling their best. But taking care of your gums is just as crucial to your dental health.
If your gums suddenly change color, this could point to a problem that might need dental intervention. Let your dentist know about any concerns with your periodontal health. Read on to learn about three ways changes in the color of your gums can point to oral health concerns.
What Does the Color of Your Gums Say About You?
Redness and Bleeding in the Gums
Redness or bleeding in the gum tissue is a sign of irritation, which may occur for acute reasons, such as harsh teeth-brushing techniques. However, these symptoms could also be early signs of gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue.
Gingivitis, the beginning phase of gum disease, presents with inflammation in the gums that may also include swelling and soreness. This can happen when the natural bacteria in your mouth spread and infect your gums. You will need periodontal therapy from your dentist to treat this disease.
If gum disease progresses, you might suffer severe dental damage as bacteria eat away at your teeth, jawbone, and gum tissue. While red gums do not always point to gum disease, you should not ignore this symptom.
Pale Gum Color
If your gums appear paler than usual or white, this could be a symptom of a few dental problems. If the discoloration is accompanied by a painful bump, it might be a canker sore, an irritation that will likely clear up on its own.
But white discoloration might also point to oral thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth, or oral cancer. Pale gums might also form if you have anemia, a medical condition in which you have a low red blood cell count. Changes in the color of your gums are often abnormal, so consult with your dentist to determine the cause of these concerns.
Some people have a naturally darker color to their gums, but if the gums become black or darker suddenly, you should talk to your dentist. Not every change in your smile poses a risk to your oral health, but you should check with an expert to make sure.
Black gums could point to a medication side effect or a hormonal change. It could also occur due to chronic smoking habits. But black gums may also be a sign of a harmful gum infection known as trench mouth. This severe form of gum disease can become painful and majorly hurt your teeth as well as the gum tissue.
Ask your dentist about preventative care for your gums to keep them looking and feeling their best. If you are worried about the way your gums look, your dentist might have cosmetic dental solutions for you too.