The typical healthy dental patient has firm pink gums. The gums are connective tissue that helps to keep your teeth in position in the mouth. If you notice that your gums have changed color, this could be a symptom of a dental problem.
Do not ignore this alteration in your gum health. Make sure you call your dentist to learn what this aesthetic concern could mean. Read on to learn about three potential changes in the color of your gums that could point to an oral health problem.
What Does Your Gum Color Say About Your Oral Health?
Red and Inflamed Gum Tissue
Sometimes gums can become red, inflamed, and might even bleed due to acute irritation that can stem from harsh teeth brushing. But if these symptoms persist or do not have a clear cause, you may have gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. This is a type of infection in the gum tissue.
Gum disease affects about half of all adults in the United States. But though prevalent, the infection can cause irreversible damage to your teeth, jaw, and gums. It may even lead to tooth loss without urgent care from a dentist.
The disease will not go away on its own, and your dentist can more easily treat the issue if diagnosed promptly. So do not delay your routine dental check-up. Contact your dentist with any questions or concerns regarding your gum health.
Pale or White Gum Color
A number of issues can lead to your gums appearing paler than usual, including anemia and other medical concerns. If gums form a painful white bump, you might have a canker sore. This irritation can usually resolve on its own.
But white-colored gums might also stem from oral thrush, a yeast infection within the mouth. Because gum discoloration may occur for various reasons, you should schedule a consultation with your dentist to find the best method for preserving and treating your gums.
Dark or Black Gums
Some dental patients have a naturally darker hue to their gum color. But if gums suddenly grow darker or turn black, this could point to an oral health problem. Not all symptoms signify a dental emergency, but you should check with your dentist to make sure just in case.
Poor oral habits like smoking may cause gums to become darker. Gums can also turn black due to medication side effects or hormonal changes. But this symptom could stem from a severe type of gum disease known as trench mouth.
The infection can lead to significant pain and dental damage quickly, so do not wait to tell your dentist about this periodontal concern. If you worry about preserving your gum health, ask your dentist about preventative care that you can complete both in their office and at home.
Your dentist may also recommend cosmetic treatment options to enhance the appearance of your gums. Learn more by calling your dentist in Santa Monica, CA at 310.736.1051.