Posted on: 7 September 2022
What's the ideal color and texture for your gums? Although there are certainly variations from person to person, your gums should be pink—light, but not overly pale. And what about their texture? Gums should in fact be stippled, meaning they should be dappled, or lightly dimpled. When your gums have become a darker shade of pink with a totally smooth surface, you may need to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Your Body Is Warning You
These changes to the color and texture of your gums are a warning sign of gingivitis. Although it's not especially serious in itself, gingivitis can easily transition into a more serious periodontal disease, which can seriously jeopardize the health of your teeth and gums, with intensive and often invasive treatment needed to prevent tooth loss. So think of these changes to the color and texture of your gums as your body warning you that action is needed—sooner, and not later.
Changes to Your Gums
The changes to your gums are a direct result of inflammation, which causes their surface to become smooth and darken in color. In addition to these physical changes, your gums may be tender, and even slightly painful. It's common to see a small amount of blood when brushing and flossing too. Your gum tissues have become infected, and while this infection is a relatively mild periodontal disease, the clock is ticking. What sort of treatment will you need?
Plaque Becomes Tartar
Gingivitis can generally be avoided by brushing and flossing to the utmost standard. Your cleaning efforts will remove plaque, which is a biofilm made of oral bacteria. If plaque isn't removed, it hardens to become tartar. This hardened level of bacterial biofilm then begins to affect your gingival tissues, which triggers your immune system, leading to inflammation of your gums. Unfortunately, by this point, you're unable to reverse the condition yourself. Your toothbrush and dental floss (or other interdental cleaning devices) aren't strong enough to remove tartar.
See your dentist as soon as you can. Gingivitis isn't a dental emergency, but treatment shouldn't be delayed too much. A professional dental cleaning will be performed, involving the scaling of your teeth, and possibly even curettage of your especially inflamed gingival tissues. Once your tartar has been removed, your immune system will largely handle the rest of the work, and your gingival inflammation will subside. As this happens, your gums will return to their former, healthy color and texture.
Thorough cleaning at home along with regular dental checkups are your best bets when it comes to avoiding gingivitis again in the future.
Talk to your dentist to learn more about periodontal disease.Share