Pale gums may be a result of poor hygiene or other severe gum diseases. However, there may be other reasons why someone has pale gums, which we will discuss in this article. Healthy gums should be a relatively consistent red color. The gums of one individual may be a little paler or darker than those of another.

More often, pale gums are an indication that a person is anemic, which is iron deficiency. If the gums are brown or sore, though, then the issue may be more severe. Concerns may occur when an adult discovers that their gum color is changing.

So, before freaking out, check out if you have these symptoms first. Continue reading and learn more about the causes of pale gums, and how to improve your overall dental health. We also explain complications, medications, and when to see a specialist.


What are the Causes of Pale Gums?

As mentioned, pale gums may be a result of poor hygiene or other gum diseases. It may also be because of other conditions that affect the coloration of your gums. Regardless, here are some causes of pale gums. However, take note that symptoms may differ from one person to another. Consult with your doctor if you have worse symptoms.

  • Anemia. It occurs when a body doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood and other medical conditions, which can cause some tissues to grow pale. It can also be because of a lack of iron, folate, or vitamin B-12. An anemic person may also feel severe weakness, shortness of breath, headaches, palpitations, and pale eyes or skin.
    • How to Treat Anemia? More often, treatment for anemia may be as simple as taking prescribed iron pills for at least six months. It will also help if you consume more foods that are rich in iron like dark leafy greens, fortified cereals, and bread. Also, avoid drinking coffee or tea, alcohol, whole-grain foods, and dairy products.
  • Leukoplakia. Oral leukoplakia may cause the appearance of regular, thin white patches on the gums. Some contrast with ordinary gum or mucous tape, or are connected by it. The origin of this disease is unknown, but in people who smoke, consume a lot of alcohol, or have bad oral hygiene, it tends to arise more often. In many cases, traces of leukoplakia are innocuous. They may, however, turn and get cancerous.
    • How to Treat Leukoplakia? Someone noticing such spots should talk to a doctor or dentist. However, it still depends on the size and placement of the patches. A doctor may choose to track or surgically remove patches of leukoplakia.
  • Menopause. Menopause-related hormone changes are assumed to decrease blood flow and may leave the gums yellow and swollen. A type of infection called menopausal gingivostomatitis can contribute to red, swollen, bleeding gums.
    • How to Treat Menopause? First of all, there’s no cure to bring back your monthly period. However, there are some treatments to eliminate its effects on pale gums. Such signs may be under control using hormone therapies.
  • Oral lichen planus. A layer of web-like, slightly raised white threads forms in a person with oral lichen planus throughout the mucous membranes of the gums. A specialist would typically take a biopsy to treat this disease, a small portion of the tissue from the affected areas, and rule out other medical problems. Use topical corticosteroids or systemic steroids, instances with erosive oral lichen planus containing ulcers or open sores may get treated.
    • How to Treat Oral lichen planus? Oral lichen planus has no cure, so the best way to treat it is to limit flare-ups and the severity of symptoms. You have to eat a healthy and balanced diet, keep hydrated, exercise, and quit smoking may be beneficial in treating the disease.


Why Do You Have White Gums?

White gums also indicate something is wrong with the oral health of a person. Some conditions can cause white gums, varying from common canker sores to long-term inflammatory diseases. For more details, here are a few explanations for why somebody might have white gums.

  • Canker sores. The infections that form in the mouth and on the gums are canker sores or mouth ulcers. They can be very painful, especially when they chat, eat, or drink. Usually, the ulcers are round or rectangular and have a light core with a red border. Canker sores forming on the gums may render certain parts of the gum line appear white.
  • Gingivitis. It is a common condition that affects half of all adults in America. Bad dental hygiene is the primary source of gingivitis. People with gingivitis can feel gums that are swollen and bruised around their teeth base. When brushing and flossing, they may also find loose teeth or bleeding. The disorder can, with time, cause the gums to turn white and to recede.
  • Oral cancer. About 51,000 people in the United States will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer in 2018, the American Cancer Society reports. Bright cheekbones are a sign of oral cancer. The disease will spread rapidly, so being mindful of other signs and symptoms, including mouth sores that are slow to heal, mouth bleeding, and growths or lumps.


How Do You Know if You Have Healthy Gums?

Experts consider a wide range of colors for healthy gums. The gum status is a perfect way of checking the overall health. The more attention you devote to their color and texture, the quicker you will detect some irregularities and visit your dentist.

Based on the safety of not only your mouth but also the entire body, the color of your gums will shift. Check out the color chart below to find out more about what they could say to you and what you can do to keep thriving in maintaining a safe, beautiful smile.

  • Pink – This color is a sign that a person has healthy and well-cared gums.
  • Brown – It could be the standard gum color if you have a darker skin tone. Dark gums could also be caused by too much sun exposure lately. It will allow melanin to darken in the gums. Check their shape and keep an eye on the edges of the teeth to change color. No matter their natural color, gums will look stable and smooth.
  • Red – Red gums indicate swelling or infection. These are likely to be prone, and may even leak when brushing and flossing. So soon as possible, seek out professional advice.
  • Yellow – An indication of gingivitis is a faint yellow stain or film on your gums. Also, gingivitis is almost the same as inflamed and swollen gums. This disease is typical and can get treated with a dentist’s appointment and better oral care. If you do have a yellow sore, though, this may be a sign of a viral infection or ulcer.
  • Black – Black gums can be distressing, especially if you think the shift is odd. Black gums correlate with the use of cigarettes, and as a result of taking other drugs. The doctor or dentist will be able to review the medical history and provide specific advice.
  • Gray – This color may indicate symptoms of a weakened immune system. Whether you’re a smoker or under a lot of stress, a bacterial infection that requires medical treatment is often correlated with gray gums.


Final Words

The natural color of the gums ranges from individual to individual. When the gums are paler than average, talk to a doctor or dentist to find out anemia and other disorders causing it. Grey gums can be a symptom of severe conditions, such as oral cancer, and testing with a specialist is necessary. Early treatment will reduce the risk of infection and boost the prospects for the longer term.

At Marisa Walker DDS we look after our patients with kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness. With the combination of friendly staff and most advanced tools and equipment, we always make sure to give you the most enjoyable dentist appointment. Message us or book your reservation here.