When to See Your Dentist About Gum Changes

When you assess your own smile in the mirror, you may primarily consider your teeth. However, for good overall oral health, the soft tissues in your mouth must also be looked after. One of the most overlooked elements of a healthy smile is resilient, supportive gum tissue.

Make a habit of checking your gums as part of your oral hygiene routine. Pay attention to the following potential changes.

Abnormal Color

Healthy gums are pink, though the exact shade may depend on your complexion. Unhealthy gums begin to look white or red in the area around the teeth. In advanced cases of gum disease, the gums can turn bright red all over.


Oral bleeding is a sign that you have developed a gum tissue problem. Bleeding is most likely to appear while you brush or floss. While it's possible to damage the gums by brushing too hard, regular or easily provoked bleeding is cause for concern.

Persistent Bad Taste

The default taste in your mouth is intimately linked to the health of your gums. When gum disease develops, it can make your mouth taste sour or stale most of the time. If this taste issue stems from gum disease, brushing, chewing gum or rinsing your mouth won't get rid of the unpleasant taste.

You may also notice instances of bad breath that seem to last no matter what you do to dissipate the odor.


Healthy gums stay close to the teeth, offering support for the tooth roots. As gum issues develop, the gum tissue can pull away from the teeth. This recession may make your teeth look longer or even change the spacing between teeth.


If your gums feel painful, warm or tender frequently, you likely have mild to severe gum disease. Think of these symptoms the same way as you would warmth around an injury. The more tender, red and warm an injury appears, the higher the chance that the wound has become infected.

Gum disease has many of the same symptoms as a general infection and can affect your overall bodily health in similar ways.

If you notice any combination of the gum changes listed above, schedule an appointment to talk to your dentist. These changes can indicate the presence of gum disease. Gum disease is progressive and could eventually lead to oral pain, high risk of tooth decay or even tooth loss without the right treatment.