Even if a person practices good oral hygiene, pale gums might occur. Gums that are healthy should be a consistent shade of pink, with lighter areas around the edges of your teeth and darker areas around the sides of your mouth. It’s natural for one person’s gums to be whiter or darker than another’s, but it’s not usual to have pale gums.
Although there could be other reasons, some of the most common causes for pale gums include:
- Oral Leukoplakia
- Oral Lichen Planus
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Canker sores
While gum color varies from person to person, it should not be excessively light. So, to make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of what could be causing your pale gums.
What are the Causes of Pale Gums?
Gums vary in color, but they typically stay within the range of pink. Anything lighter might mean that you have one of the following conditions.
The gums can develop uniform, thin, white patches as a result of oral leukoplakia. These alternate with or are bordered by regular gum or mucous tissues. It’s possible that the white parts are speckled with red or have high white nodules.
Leukoplakia patches can occur anywhere in the mouth and are impossible to remove with massage or scraping. This ailment’s exact cause is unknown. It appears to be more common in people who smoke, drinks excessively, or have poor oral hygiene. Patches of leukoplakia are normally innocuous, but they might alter and become cancerous.
Pale gums are often one of the signs of anemia. When the body does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood, anemia develops. Some tissues might become pale due to a lack of blood. A person with anemia may experience the following symptoms in addition to pale gums:
- Feeling tired or weak for no reason
- Breathing problems
- Pale or yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Frequent headaches
- Palpitations in the heart
A deficiency in iron, folate, or vitamin B-12 causes anemia. Otherwise, a person may have insufficient blood cells or hemoglobin. People with anemia typically have irregularly-shaped blood cells. Similar to most medical illnesses, there are a variety of medical disorders that cause anemia.
Hormonal changes can cause your gums to become pale or bleed. Menopause-related hormonal changes limit blood flow, resulting in pale and dry gums. Gingivostomatitis in menopausal women causes pale, dry, and bleeding gums. Hormone therapy may be able to help with these problems.
Oral Lichen Planus
A coating of web-like, slightly elevated white threads develop throughout the gums’ mucus membranes in a person with oral lichen planus. To rule out other medical conditions, a doctor would usually take a biopsy, or a small sample of tissue from the affected areas, to diagnose this illness.
Oral lichen planus has no cure, so treatment focuses on reducing the number of flare-ups and the severity of symptoms. Managing the illness can be as simple as eating a healthy, balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising, and quitting smoking.
Vitamin K Deficiency
Vitamin K aids in blood clotting, and people who don’t get enough of it may have trouble clotting. It also causes symptoms like pale gums, which are similar to anemia. This illness is easily treated with vitamin K injections, which are usually given shortly after delivery.
More reading: Healthy Foods For Teeth
Mouth ulcers, sometimes called canker sores, are lesions that develop in the mouth and gums. They can make you feel really uneasy, especially while you’re speaking, eating, or drinking. Ulcers are often round or oval in shape, with a whitish center and a scarlet rim. In some cases, canker sores on the gums can cause the gum line to turn white. They do not, however, change the color of the gums throughout the mouth.
Gingivitis is a common gum disease that you should take seriously. If not treated properly, it can worsen a condition: Periodontitis. This prevalent ailment affects around half of all individuals in the United States. Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis.
Gums around the base of the teeth may become inflamed, red, and swollen in people with gingivitis. When brushing and flossing, they may notice loose teeth or bleeding. In addition, the illness can cause the gums to turn white and recede over time.
Do you want to learn more tips about taking care of your gums? Continue reading here.
Care For Your Pale Gums
The color of one’s gums varies from person to person. If your gums are paler than usual, see a doctor or dentist to rule out anemia and other underlying conditions. Similarly, anyone who notices their gums are lighter than usual due to abnormal growths should see a doctor.
A dentist will evaluate your medical history, perform a visual examination, run blood tests, and take a biopsy to determine the reason of white spots on the gums. In addition, to diagnose oral lichen planus, a clinician may remove a small tissue sample from an oral lesion to examine for malignant or precancerous cells. These are frequently linked to leukoplakia.
If you have other dental concerns, you can count on us to assist you. In addition, we have other blogs that can make it easier to understand everything about the oral cavity.
Marisa Walker DDS
150 Middlefield Road., Suite 101, Menlo Park CA 94025