Healthy dental patients usually have firm, pink gums. Your gums are the connective tissue that helps keep your teeth in their position in the mouth. So if you notice changes, especially in color, in your gums, this could point to a major dental problem that could impact your entire smile.
If you know what these symptoms could mean, you could be more likely to seek urgent evaluation and treatment from your dentist for periodontal issues. Read on to learn about three potential color changes in your gums that could point to larger oral health concerns.
What Does Your Gum Color Say About Your Smile?
Redness in the Gums
If your gums appear red or swollen or bleed easily, this could mean you have gingivitis, the early phase of gum disease. Gum disease refers to an infection in the gum tissue that eats away at the gums and spreads to harm your teeth and jawbone too. Gingivitis begins with inflammation within the gums though.
While gums can become irritated for acute reasons, like harsh teeth brushing, chronic gum inflammation might mean you have gum disease, which requires treatment from a dentist to eradicate. Without prompt treatment, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other permanent dental damage.
Let your dentist know about this change in your gums’ appearance. The disease is easier to treat when diagnosed early, so do not delay in getting a periodontal disease screening from your dentist.
Pale or White Gums
White or pale gums may occur for a number of reasons, including anemia. This is a medical condition where the body produces fewer red blood cells, resulting in an overall paler appearance. Your doctor will want to monitor this issue, so do not ignore this symptom.
When accompanied by a painful bump, pale gums could mean you have a canker sore. This irritation often goes away on its own. But white gums could also mean oral thrush. Your dentist can pinpoint the cause of this color change in the gums and find the appropriate dental treatment for you.
Black or Darkening Gum Tissue
Some dental patients have naturally darker gum tissue. But if your gums suddenly become dark or black, you might have a periodontal problem. Not every change in your smile points to a dental emergency, but you should consult with a dentist just in case. For instance, black gums can occur due to a hormonal change or a medication side effect.
Smoking can also cause the gums to appear darker over time. But black gums may also happen due to a gum infection known as trench mouth. This severe form of gum disease can be painful and lead to major structural damage in the smile.
Your dentist can offer emergency treatment for your gums, but they also focus on preventative care too. Schedule a consult with your dentist to improve your gum health. They can discuss cosmetic dental treatments too if you worry about the way that your gums look.