Decoding The Mysteries Of Gingivial Coloration

We spend a substantial amount of time worrying about the health of our teeth, including their color and appearance. While gingivitis is a common concern, we rarely discuss its implications for our oral health. Knowing what changes in the color of your gingival tissue mean can help you identify oral health concerns. Your gums should be pink, flush, and healthy. When this color changes, there’s a potential risk ahead for your smile.

Decoding The Mysteries Of Gingivial Coloration

There are only two colors that indicate healthy gums, pink and brown. Brown gums are common in darker skin tones and can be a sign of good oral health. The appearance of redness in anyone’s gums is cause for worry. It’s a clear sign of gingivitis and the potential onset of periodontitis. This infection can lead to serious damage to your gums, jawbone and can lead to the loss of teeth. This redness is just one of the signs of oral health concerns your gum color can warn you about.

In most cases, a change of color in your gums means problems with your oral health. However, other health conditions can have a lasting impact on the health of your gums. This list includes the various shades you may identify in your gum that can indicate trouble. You may want to speak to your oral health practitioner if you identify a concern.

  • Pink: Healthy gums are generally pink and flush.
  • Brown: Naturally, darker skin may mean more melanin in your gums. This color does not indicate a health risk.
  • Red: When gums become infected and inflamed, it’s a clear sign of gingivitis or periodontitis. They’ll often be more sensitive to high or low temperatures and have a rougher texture than healthy gums. Bleeding in response to flossing or brushing is common. This bleeding is a clear sign to speak to your oral health provider.
  • Yellow: Gums that have turned yellow are a clear indicator of the presence of gingivitis. Schedule an appointment immediately.
  • Black: Medication and tobacco use can be a couple of reasons for black gums. Gums that turn this shade are likely in serious distress, so call your dentist.
  • White: Fungal infections are the most common cause of your gums turning white. Eating and drinking with this infection may cause pain. This pain is a sign to call your dentist.
  • Grey: Weakness in the immune system can lead to your gums turning grey. Smoking and stress are common reasons that your gums may turn this shade.

No matter what color your gums are, they should never bleed. Call your dentist if you have gums that appear to be otherwise healthy, but you’re experiencing bleeding. They may suggest that you make changes in your oral hygiene practices. These changes may include soft-bristled toothbrushes or being more gentle while flossing.

Speak To Your Oral Health Provider For More Guidance

This article is just a crash course on what the changing colors of your gums may mean. Speaking to your dentist is going to provide you with better information. They’ll perform a full exam and give a complete diagnosis of the conditions facing your oral health. Call them today to schedule your next oral health visit.

Dr. Maherin Momin

Dr. Momin is a proud alumna of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, where she graduated summa cum laude in her class. Dr. Momin strives to provide her patients with excellent care and ensure patients are fully educated about their dental conditions and needs, so they can make the informed decision that is best for them. Despite her stellar academic record, Dr. Momin is also part of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, and Greater Houston Dental Society.


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