When speaking about our oral health, there’s a lot of focus on our teeth. While gums get a casual mention, they’re essential to lasting oral health. By understanding what it means to have healthy gums, we can identify concerns. One way to determine when you may have issues with gum health is to check their color. Healthy gums should be a flush and healthy pink color. When this shade shifts to pale, red, or dark red, trouble is sure to be afoot.
Understanding Gum Health And What Their Color Tells You
The color of your gums tells you a lot about their health. Pale or pink gums are generally considered healthy. When redness begins to appear it’s likely that you’re experiencing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease. Without rapid attention to eliminate it, it can develop into periodontitis overtime. Periodontitis is an infection within your gums that can damage oral tissues. Gum recession, tooth loss, and even loss of bone in the jaw can result. It’s important to note that those who naturally have darker skin often may have darker gums. In these individuals it’s possible for brown or even black gums to be perfectly healthy.
The most common reasons that your gums will change colors is due to oral health. However, it’s possible that medical conditions happening elsewhere in the body may be the cause. Below we’ve listed the typical colors of the gums, and what they mean about your health.
- Pink: The color pink is the most commonly recognized sign of good gum health.
- Brown: Those with naturally darker skin may have brown gums.
- Red: Red gums indicate that they are inflamed or even infected. Temperature sensitivity is expected. They may also feel tougher than healthy gums. They often bleed when brushed or flossed. Bleeding is a sure sign to see your dentist.
- Yellow: Yellow gums are a clear sign that you have gingivitis. See your dentist immediately.
- Black: This is a worrisome sign. Some medications and tobacco use are the most common reasons. See your dentist immediately.
- White: White gums typically indicate the presence of a fungal infection. It’s often accompanied with pain while eating or drinking. See your dentist immediately.
- Grey: This color indicates a weak immune system. Stress and smoking are common causes of grey gums.
Regardless of the color of your gums, bleeding is never a good sign. Healthy gums rarely bleed. If you commonly see blood on your toothbrush or floss, see your dentist. You may be brushing or flossing too vigorously. Otherwise, it’s a clear sign that gum disease is present.
Get More Guidance From Your Dental Health Professional
Now that you’ve learned a bit about identifying oral health problems by gum color, call your dentist. They’ll be able to provide you with information about your oral health. Following their guidance ensures that your teeth and gums will remain healthy. If it’s been more than six months since you last saw your dentist, pick up the phone and schedule a consultation today!