oral healthStudies suggest that most Americans notice a person’s smile as the very first thing they note about a person and, when first impressions are vital, we know just how important a smile can be. So, when there’s something that makes us feel less than secure in our smile, we may be robbing ourselves of starting new relationships off on the right foot, or rather, our best smile. You may have an adept oral routine, brushing twice a day and flossing every day. You may be mindful of fluoride and you may even use mouthwash that keeps gingivitis and other oral diseases at bay. But no matter what you do, your gums aren’t that bright pink you see in TV commercials, which may lead you to think that your gums aren’t healthy. If you’ve been wondering what the color of your gums means and if you’ve got healthy gums and how to tell the health of your gums by looking at them, then keep reading!

Gum Color Varies Just Like Skin Color

And just like how differences in skin color don’t mean there’s a health issue, variations in the color of gums don’t mean there’s a health issue that needs addressing. Studies have shown that healthy gums range from light to dark brown and sometimes even black; they can be speckled with pink or have variations in tone and hue. So what causes the color differences you might see in your gums when compared to the gums of others? Melanin! The same pigment that causes variance in skin color can be attributed to differences in gum color.

When Are Different Colored Gums A Cause For Concern? 

Just like discoloration on the skin can mean injury or illness such as the purplish color of a dark bruise, sometimes the color of your gums can mean that you have an underlying oral health issue. Discoloration of the gums, specifically having dark patches on your mucous membranes, can be an indication of an endocrine disease known as Addison’s disease, for example. Also, if you’ve noticed a change in the color of the gums after starting some medication, then that can be the cause as well. If you’ve noticed sudden darkening of the gums or a change in the color of your gums, then consult your doctor and dentist.

It May Be Time To Visit A Dentist 

Even if you’ve been doing everything on this list, visiting a dentist regularly should be part of your oral health routine. Checking in with a dentist is the best way to know for certain the health of your gums. If you’re in the Bronx area, then make sure to come to Montefiore Medical Center, call us today at 888-700-6623!