What The Color Of Your Gums Says About Your Health

What The Color Of Your Gums Says About Your Health

Dental experts agree that your gums should be a beautiful pink. This shade of pink might vary slightly depending on your natural skin tone, but if you notice a different hue, there might be something else going on in your mouth. As it turns out, the tone or tint of your gums can inform you of other health issues, especially if the change in color accompanies other symptoms. In this article, we cover a list of gum colors and what they could mean for your oral health. 

What Color Are Healthy Gums?

Healthy gums are typically pink in color and firm to the touch. Your skin tone may determine the shade of pink. For example, white or light-skinned people tend to have lighter pink gums, while darker-skinned people can have darker pink or pinkish-brown gums. Your gums should be resilient and they shouldn’t move when you touch them or bleed when you brush or floss. Healthy gums are not inflamed or swollen in their natural state, nor are they tender to the touch. Your breath tends to feel fresh with no unpleasant tastes in your mouth. Continue reading to learn more about what your gums can tell you about your health. 

Red Gums

Dentists say that red, swollen gums commonly indicate gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease. Plaque that builds up on the teeth causes gingivitis, and the tenderness of the gums can cause them to bleed when you floss. If you notice red, swollen gums, take action as soon as possible. Gingivitis can worsen over time and lead to gum pain, tenderness, and eventually gum damage or tooth loss. 

Black Gums

Unless you decide to consume a handful of dirt, your gums should not be black. If you notice very dark red, dark purple, or black gums, you most likely have a case of periodontitis. This is a common gum infection that damages the gums and destroys the jawbone, but it is fairly preventable. In addition to the darker-colored gums, you may also notice new spaces between your teeth and a change to your bite. This occurs because teeth start to loosen. Two less common reasons for black gums are smoking or unmanaged diabetes. Tetracycline, an antibiotic, can also temporarily cause gums to take on a back hue. 

Purple Gums

If gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease, gums may take on a purplish appearance. Some dental experts suggest that gums with a subtle purple hue may not always indicate gum disease. The gums must be firm and healthy, not bleeding, for the purplish hue to be acceptable. If you notice purple gums that are puffy and painful, or that pus comes from between the teeth, see your dentist to address the problem. Eating or chewing may also become uncomfortable in this situation.

White Gums

If you notice that your gums have taken on a ghostly white appearance, the problem isn’t usually cause for major concern. Gums can turn white temporarily from excess use of teeth whitening products, according to experts. The chemical bleaching ingredients in these products can also cause gum and tooth sensitivity. Less often, white spots or patches on the gums can indicate leukoplakia, a condition that results from heavy smoking or tobacco use. In some cases, white patches on the gums may indicate oral cancer, but the patch typically feels sore or irritated in this situation. 

Pale Gums

Gums that appear paler than normal may be a symptom of anemia, which occurs when the blood doesn’t make enough red blood cells. Anemia often stems from too-low iron or vitamin B12 levels, and it can cause weakness, pale skin, pale gums, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. If you experience other symptoms of anemia, consider speaking with your healthcare professional to address the issue.

Refer A Friend give 15%
get $20