In most people, pink gums are a sign that your gums are healthy. But what if you notice a change in the color of your gums, either entirely or just in patches? Is it a sign of an oral health problem or could it just be a harmless variation? Let’s look at some different gum colors, what they could indicate, and whether you should see a dentist about your changes in gum color.
Typically, red gums aren’t a good sign and should be checked out by your dentist. Red gums are also typically swollen and may be sensitive or painful to touch or when brushing and flossing. Causes of red gums range from minor to more severe. Your gums could be irritated by a build-up of plaque around your gumline, in which case you need to improve your oral care and perhaps see a dentist for a professional cleaning.
Red, swollen gums can also be a sign of an infection and may signal the early stages of gum disease or gingivitis, so see your dentist for their advice and treatment.
Some people naturally have darker gums due to genetics, which can be the case for people of all kinds of skin tones. Gums can also become darker due to sun exposure, as it is melanin that causes darker colors in the gums and skin. If your gums become darker but still feel firm, smooth, and aren’t sensitive or painful, then it’s likely that they’re still perfectly healthy.
Darker gums and black patches on the gums can also be caused by smoking or other types of tobacco use over time. Certain medications can even cause the gums to darken. If you are concerned, then see your dentist to assess the health of your gums and the cause of the color change.
If your gums are a particularly pale shade of pink, then this could simply be a genetic difference, or it could be a sign of anemia. This means a lack of iron in your bloodstream causes less oxygen-rich blood to reach your tissues, including your gums. If your gums become more of a white color, then this may be caused by a fungal infection, so you should see your dentist for treatment and advice.
If plaque and tartar are left to build up for too long, then they can start to coat the gums, leaving a slight yellow color coating the gums. This could indicate gingivitis or even an infection, so see your dentist straight away for treatment.
If you notice any changes to the color of your gums, it’s a good idea to see your dentist about it. It could be nothing or it could be something that’s easily treatable as long as you get it looked at promptly. Contact Advance Family Dentists to book a check-up with us in Advance, NC.