What color should your gums be?

The color of your gums is very telling! You can determine your gum health just by assessing the color of your gum tissue.

So, what do healthy gums look like? What gum color tells you that your gums are strong, healthy and clean? Let’s dive into the mysterious color of gums!

What color should gums be?

Healthy gums will appear pink, light pink, brown or black in color. They’re firm and resilient; they don’t move when you touch them and won’t bleed when you floss or brush. Healthy gums don’t feel sensitive or tender to the touch, and they aren’t swollen or inflamed in their natural state!

What do healthy bottom gums look like? What are the healthy gum colors?

Just like humans, healthy gums come in a variety of colors! Healthy gums may come in shades of pink, including pale pink gums, as well as brown or black.

The color of your gums not only gives insight into the health of your gums, but the health of your body too.

Here’s what these gum colors can indicate:

  • Pink Gums: Gums that are firm and pink are typically healthy, well maintained gums!
  • Brown Gums: Gums that are brown in color can be healthy, well maintained gums too! If your gums are naturally brown and firm, these are healthy qualities. If your gums change colors, darkening over time, this can indicate health complications.
  • Purple Gums: Purple gums can also be healthy gums! A purplish appearance can be a shade of pink and/or black. If you have purple gums and experience the signs of healthy gums (firmness and no bleeding or tenderness), this is normal and healthy. If you have swollen, tender, sensitive purple gums, this can indicate an infection!

It’s important to monitor your gum color over time and stay aware of any symptoms that arise. Almost any color could be considered healthy; it’s how the color evolves over time and the symptoms you experience that give you the most insight into your health.

What do unhealthy gums look like?

More often than not, unhealthy gums come with a number of unpleasant symptoms. Unhealthy gums may appear bright red and swollen. They may feel extremely sensitive or tender to the touch. They may bleed everytime you brush or floss your teeth.

These symptoms can indicate an unhealthy condition, like gum disease or a gum infection.

  • Red Gums: Red gums, or gums that are deeply pink, often indicate an infection. Bright red gums may be highly sensitive, and they may bleed when you brush and floss.
  • Yellow Gums: A slight yellow tint or film on your gums indicates gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. So if you’ve been wondering what are normal gums vs. gingivitis gums, this is your sign! Gingivitis usually arises with inflammation and swelling. If you have yellow gums, please reach out to us as soon as possible! It’s important that we treat gingivitis, or the source of the infection, immediately to preserve your teeth and gums.
  • Black Gums: If your gums aren’t naturally black, and they turn black over time, this can indicate a number of problems. Black gums have been related to tobacco use and as the result of taking certain medications. Please reach out to us as soon as possible so we can assess your gum health.
  • White Gums: When the gums have a white film over them, this can indicate a fungal infection. White and sore gums, including white sores, will be sensitive and uncomfortable. It’s important that we intervene with the infection before it spreads further, so please let us know if you have white gums.
  • Grey Gums: Similar to white gums, gums that have a grey film over them are an indication of a weakened immune system. Whether you are a smoker or are under a lot of stress, grey gums are often connected to a bacterial infection that requires immediate medical attention from our experienced periodontists.

What if I have pale gums around my teeth?

While it’s normal for the gums to be a slightly different shade around the teeth than around the top gum tissue, pale gums around teeth can also indicate an unhealthy condition.

The gums may become paler if there’s a lack of oxygen reaching the gum tissue. It may also indicate that a person has anemia, resulting from an iron deficiency.

If your gums have always been pale around your teeth, and your dentist or periodontist has cleared you for healthy gums, then this may be your gums’ natural state. It’s important that you receive an assessment to ensure that everything is okay if you notice that your gums have changed over time or are significantly pale around the teeth.

Are my gums healthy?

Do your gums fall within the ‘healthy gum colors’ range? Do you brush and floss them daily? Are they free of challenging symptoms, like tenderness, bleeding or receding toward the tooth roots? If so, your gums are likely healthy!

If you aren’t quite sure whether your gums are healthy, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. Maintaining healthy gums is how you keep your natural, beautiful smile for a lifetime.

If you have gum disease or another condition, it’s critical that we’re able to treat it sooner than later to prevent irreparable damage from occurring to your gums or teeth.

Pay attention to your gum color and take action if you notice changes over time. Staying aware of your health is the best way to ensure your health. We’re here to help you maintain healthy gums for a lifetime.

Still have questions about healthy gum colors?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re here to support you and your gums!

If you’re looking for a top periodontist in Tampa or New Port Richey, we’d love to meet you! Request an appointment today.





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