Your gums are the connective tissue that helps keep your teeth secure within your mouth. Healthy gums are firm and pink, but if their appearance changes, this could be a sign of a medical concern.
A dentist can examine your smile and look for gum disease or other dental issues that could cause alterations in your gum color. But if you notice problems before your next routine dentist appointment, do not wait to call your dentist. Read on to find three color changes that may occur in your gum tissue and what these symptoms could say about your smile.
What Does My Gum Color Mean for My Oral Health?
Red, Inflamed Gum Tissue
Sometimes your gums might appear red and irritated or could bleed for an acute reason, including harsh teeth brushing. But if inflammation, redness, and swelling persist or do not have a clear cause, you could have gum disease.
This infection of the gum tissue often begins with an inflamed look in the gums. As the disease advances, bacteria will reach the tooth root and jaw, eating away at these parts of the mouth to cause irreversible and severe dental damage like tooth loss. Though common, gum disease could majorly impact your smile, so do not wait to get treatment from your dentist.
A dentist can clear away the infection through periodontal therapy, but it is easier to treat with prompt and early intervention. Continue routine dental care to reduce your risk for gum disease.
White or Pale Gums
If your gums appear pale or white, you might have a medical condition known as anemia. This occurs when your body produces fewer red blood cells than it should. But you might also see further concerns for other issues related to this symptom.
For instance, a painful white bump on the gums could be a canker sore. This irritation will usually go away on its own in time. White gums might also occur due to oral thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth that will need diagnosis and treatment from a dentist. Do not delay dental attention when it comes to changes in your gum health.
Black or Darkening Gums
Some people have a naturally darker color in their gums. But if your gums begin to grow darker or turn black, this could mean you have an oral health problem. Not all gum issues signify a dental emergency, but new oral symptoms warrant an evaluation from your dentist.
Poor oral habits may make your gums look black. Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause this effect. But black gum tissue may also happen because of a serious type of gum disease known as trench mouth.
Do not ignore this symptom. Talk to your dentist about ways to enhance your gum color with cosmetic dental solutions if you feel unsatisfied with their appearance. A dentist can also discuss preventative periodontal care with you that will suit your unique smile.