Your gums are a type of connective tissue that helps keep the teeth securely in place within the mouth. The average healthy dental patient has firm, pink gums. Many people often overlook their gums when caring for their dental health, but issues with the gums could cause significant problems with the rest of your smile.
If you see a change in the appearance of your gums, especially the color, this could point to a major concern with your smile. The issue might require urgent care from your dentist to treat, so do not ignore it. Read on to discover three ways your gum color might change and what these symptoms can mean for your oral health.
Red, Bleeding Gums
Redness, swelling, soreness, and bleeding in the gums point to inflammation in the tissue. This often occurs due to an infection known as gum disease. About half of American adults will contract gum disease, but, though common, this infection can wreak havoc on your smile.
Irritated gum tissue is a symptom of the early stage of gum disease, gingivitis. But the infection can spread without treatment from your dentist. Bacteria will reach your tooth root and jawbone where you could suffer severe damage that may even cause tooth loss.
Red gums might occur for acute reasons like harsh teeth brushing techniques. But if the symptom persists, you should ask your dentist for a periodontal disease screening.
Gum disease does not go away on its own, so seek prompt care from your dentist for this problem before it worsens. The dentist will need to thoroughly clean your teeth to get rid of excess bacteria. They may also need to remove damaged tissue to properly eradicate the infection.
Pale or White Gum Tissue
If your gums begin to look paler or white, this could point to a few different issues in your smile. You might have oral thrush, a yeast infection that develops in the mouth, which might need medication to treat. A painful white bump may be a canker sore, which, though irritating, often goes away of its own accord.
Pale gums could also occur as a symptom of anemia, a condition in which your blood is low in red blood cells. Since this issue can point to a number of scenarios, contact your dentist for a proper diagnosis.
Black or Dark Gums
Some dental patients have a naturally darker hue to their gums. But if you notice that gums appear darker or blacker than usual, you might have an underlying oral health problem. While not all dental symptoms point to a dental emergency, you should still consult with a dental expert to be sure.
Poor oral habits might make gums turn darker, including tobacco usage. But black gum tissue might form as a symptom of a severe form of gum disease known as trench mouth. Do not ignore this issue because you could see irreversible, major dental damage or severe pain without prompt dental intervention. Learn more by visiting your dentist today.