A healthy dental patient usually has firm pink gums. This connective tissue helps keep your teeth secure in the mouth. So caring for your gums is just as important as maintaining healthy and strong teeth.
If your gums change color, this could point to an underlying dental problem that will need evaluation or treatment from a dentist. Do not ignore this concern and contact your dentist about these developments. Read on to learn about three ways that your gum color might alter and what it indicates about your oral health.
Meanings Behind Changing Gum Color
Red or Bleeding Gums
Redness and bleeding might occur in the gums due to acute irritation, such as harsh teeth-brushing techniques. But if these symptoms become chronic or have no noticeable cause, you might have gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue.
Gum disease is common, affecting about half of American adults, but it can cause major damage, including tooth loss, if you do not get rid of this infection. You will need periodontal therapy from your dentist to treat the issue.
It will be easier to eradicate with an early diagnosis, so do not delay a periodontal check-up. Attend regular visits with your dentist and reach out to their office with any questions about your gum health.
Pale or White Gum Color
Gums might grow paler or white in color for many reasons, including anemia, a medical condition in which the body has a low red blood cell count. If the gums feature a white, painful bump, you might have a canker sore. These irritations often resolve themselves on their own.
But white gums might also occur due to oral thrush, a yeast infection within the mouth. Because gum discoloration might develop for varying reasons, you should consult a dentist to determine the best course of action to preserve and enhance your smile.
Black or Darkening Gums
Some people have naturally dark-colored gums. But if they suddenly darken or turn black, this might point to an oral health issue. Not every symptom will result in a dental emergency, but it is a good idea to check in with your dentist to make sure.
Habits like smoking might cause gums to darken. They might also turn black due to hormonal changes or a medication side effect. But this may also happen due to a severe type of gum disease known as trench mouth.
This gum infection can leave a patient in pain and with significant dental damage quickly. So make sure you tell your dentist about your periodontal symptoms and changes in your oral health.
If you worry about protecting your gums, talk to your dental professional about preventative care both in their office and at home. A dentist can also tell you about cosmetic dentistry options that will improve the appearance of your gums if they are otherwise healthy.