Healthy dental patients usually have firm, pink gums. The gums refer to the connective tissue over the jawbone that helps to keep teeth in place in the mouth. Taking care of your gums is as crucial as maintaining the health of the rest of your smile.
If you notice a change in the way that your gums appear, such as the color, this could mean a problem with your smile. While not always a dental emergency, you will want to consult your dentist about any concerns with your gum health. Read on to learn how the color of your gums can indicate changes in your oral health.
What Does Changing Gum Color Say About You?
Red or Bleeding Gums
If your gums appear red or irritated and bleed easily, this could be a sign of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue, and gingivitis often presents with inflammation in the gums. Patients might also notice swelling or soreness with this periodontal problem.
While bleeding might also occur for acute reasons, like harsh teeth brushing, chronic gum inflammation could mean you have gum disease, which will require treatment from a dentist to eradicate. If gum disease spreads and reaches the teeth and jaw, you could experience severe dental damage that may result in tooth loss.
Let your dentist know about this change in your gum tissue. Gum disease is easier to treat when caught early, so do not delay in getting a check-up from your dentist.
Pale or White Gum Color
Pale or white gums could develop for a number of reasons, including anemia. This is a type of medical condition in which the body produces fewer blood cells. Your medical expert will want to monitor this issue, so pay attention to your gums.
A painful bump accompanied by pale discoloration in the gums could mean you have a canker sore. This irritation often clears up on its own. But pale gums might also point to oral thrush. Check with your dentist if you notice this type of color change in your gums to determine its cause.
Black or Darkening Gums
Some people have a naturally darker color to their gums, but if your gums suddenly grow dark or black, you might have a periodontal problem. Not every change in your smile means you have a dental issue, but you should consult with a dentist just in case. Black gums might form due to a medication side effect or a hormonal change.
Smoking makes the gums appear darker over time too. But black gums could also occur due to a gum infection called trench mouth. This severe type of gum disease can cause pain and major structural damage to a patient’s smile.
Your dentist can recommend preventative care for your gums to lower your risk of these oral infections. If you worry about the appearance of your gums, schedule a cosmetic dental consultation.