This condition can be caused by anemia, because the body either lacks sufficient red blood cells or sufficient hemoglobin, it fails to receive sufficient oxygen, causing the skin to turn pale. The increased paleness is particularly prominent in the gums, nail beds and inner eyelids. Research has it that, the most obvious and common symptom of anemia is fatigue.
Why are my Gums Pale?
In more severe cases, the heartbeat increases noticeably. Other symptoms include irritability, low blood pressure, brittle nails, unusual food cravings and persistent headaches. While iron deficiency anemia is easily treated, but if left undiagnosed it can impair growth and development among infants, and severely impact quality of life in adults.
Treatment of pale gums consists of correcting the iron deficiency through a combination of diet and supplements. Side effects include black stools; rarely, people also suffer from abdominal discomfort. To prevent iron deficiency anemia, eating a nutritious diet such as, liver, fish, poultry and eggs are all excellent sources of iron, and should sometimes supplemented with citrus juice to help the body absorb the nutrients.
Vegetarians are more likely to suffer from iron deficiencies if proper care is not taken, as are menstruating or breastfeeding women. However, anemia can afflict either gender at any age. Lifestyle choices also play a significant factor; alcoholics and serious athletes are both at a higher risk than others.
Pale Gums Causes
Though they may be a part of our body that we don’t look at with much depth, our gums are quite important to us. If you have ever had pale gums or seen them up close, they can be quite worrisome. Under normal conditions, our gums are usually a nice pale shade of pink when they are healthy.
However with certain health conditions or with improper hygiene, our gums can quickly become pale and even damaged. More importantly, is there some deeper health condition going on that’s contributing to this.
Possible Causes of pale gums
The most common cause for pale gums is anemia. Anemia affects a lot of people and they don’t even know it. This condition often doesn’t come out until a blood test is run and therefore many people don’t realize that they are suffering from this iron deficiency. One of the most obvious ways that anemia shows itself besides fatigue and dizziness is pale gums and it can really take you off guard.
Though we expect our gums to look a certain way, we are immediately concerned when they appear pale and off balance. If the pale gums are also accompanied by a pale or white tongue, then chances are you are suffering from anemia. You should get checked out by a doctor and receive treatment, and as a result the gums will likely regain their proper colour.
Though we often hear that gums get bright red or even bleed from this condition, they can go the other way, too. The other extreme for gum disease is that the gums become pale and lack any real colour to them at all. This is rather serious as it can cause some rather significant damage to the gums which can sometimes be irreversible.
If you have a history of gum disease or if you notice that the gums are just pale and lifeless, you need to make an appointment with your doctor immediately. If not treated properly, gum disease can wreak havoc on your oral hygiene and can even lead to other health conditions.
Improper Oral Hygiene
One final cause for pale gums can be poor oral hygiene. Though we tend to think of cavities and gingivitis as the result of poor oral hygiene, it can show itself in other forms sometimes. The gums that are pale can come about or can even be the result of a build-up of extreme tartar or plaque in between the gums and the teeth. If poor oral hygiene is the cause you need to really focus your efforts on improving it.
No matter what is causing your gums that are pale you want to look to natural products to help improve the appearance of your gums and create a balanced and healthy mouth. Looking for a natural toothpaste that has botanical peppermint oil as its base can really help to fight off bacteria. This will help to improve the appearance of your gums and ensure that they are no longer pale, making for the best oral hygiene possible.
Pale Gums Anemia or Anemic Gums in Human
The symptoms of anemia vary according to the type of anemia, the underlying cause, the severity and any underlying health problems, such as haemorrhaging, ulcers, menstrual problems, or cancer. Specific symptoms of those problems may be noticed first.
The body also has a remarkable ability to compensate for early anemia. If your anemia is mild or has developed over a long period of time, you may not notice any symptoms.
Symptoms common to many types of anemia include, Easy fatigue and loss of energy, unusually rapid heartbeat, particularly with exercise, shortness of breath and headache, particularly with exercise, difficulty concentrating, Pale skin or pale gums, Leg cramps, insomnia.
When to consult a Doctor for Anemia
Talk to your doctor if you have risk factors for anemia or notice any signs or symptoms of anemia including:
- Persistent fatigue, breathlessness, rapid heart rate, pale skin, or any other symptoms of anemia; seek emergency care for any trouble breathing or change in your heart beat.
- Poor diet or inadequate dietary intake of vitamins and minerals
- Very heavy menstrual periods
- Symptoms of an ulcer, gastritis, haemorrhoids, bloody or tarry stools, or colorectal cancer
- Concern about environmental exposure to lead
- A hereditary anemia runs in your family and you would like genetic counselling before having a child
For women considering pregnancy, your doctor will likely recommend that you begin taking supplements, especially folate, even before conception. These supplements benefit both mother and baby.
Pale Gums around Teeth
There are two types of diseases that can affect the gums: gingivitis and periodontitis. Together, gingivitis and periodontitis are referred to as gum disease or periodontal disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, but without proper treatment it can lead to the more serious periodontitis. It is characterized by red and irritated pale gums.
Gingivitis is quite common, with many people having it to different strengths. Those at increased risk include anyone with poor dental hygiene, minorities, those who are less educated, smokers, uncontrolled diabetics, older adults, and pregnant women, those with decreased immunity, poor nutrition, substance abusers and those who do not seek the services of a dental professional often.
The National Institutes of Health warned that if it is not removed, plaque can turn into tartar, a hard deposit at the base of the tooth. Both plaque and tartar inflame gums and produce bacteria and toxins that cause gums to get infected with gingivitis.
Healthy gums are characterized by pale pink colour and firmness. Because gingivitis is usually not painful, many people do not realize that it is present or that they have a problem.
- Bleeding gums, even with gentle brushing
- Tender gums, especially when touched
- Bright red, dusky red or purple-red gums
- Swollen and pale gums
- Mouth sores
- Shiny gums
- Bad breath
The best way to prevent gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene. The brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Teeth should be professionally cleaned by a dentist every six months. If symptoms are especially bad, dentists may recommend brushing and flossing after every meal and before bed.
They may also recommend plaque-removal devices, such as special toothbrushes, toothpicks and water irrigation tools. Prescribed anti-plaque and anti-tartar toothpastes and rinses can also help.
White Patches on Gums Causes
Leukoplakia appears as thick, white patches on your gums or on the insides of your cheeks. Although leukoplakia itself isn’t dangerous, it sometimes shows precancerous changes that can lead to mouth cancer. These patches can’t easily be scraped off.
The cause of leukoplakia is unknown, but tobacco, whether smoked, dipped or chewed, is considered to be the main culprit in its development. This condition can sometimes be serious. Although most leukoplakia patches are benign, a small percentage show early signs of cancer, and many cancers of the mouth occur next to areas of leukoplakia.
Leukoplakia can have various appearances. Changes usually occur on your gums, the insides of your cheeks, the bottom of your mouth and, sometimes, your tongue. Leukoplakia may appear as:
- White or grayish patches that can’t be wiped away
- Irregular or flat-textured areas and pale gums
- Thickened or hardened areas
- Raised, red lesions (erythroplakia), which are more likely to show precancerous changes
A type of leukoplakia called hairy leukoplakia primarily affects people whose immune systems have been weakened by medications or disease, especially HIV/AIDS. Hairy leukoplakia causes fuzzy, white patches that resemble folds or ridges on the sides of your tongue.
It’s often mistaken for oral thrush — an infection marked by creamy white patches on the area that extends from the back of your throat to the top of your oesophagus (pharynx) and the insides of the cheeks. Oral thrush also is common in people with HIV/AIDS.
Most often, you can prevent leukoplakia by:
- Avoiding all tobacco products.This is one of the best steps you can take for your overall health, as well as being one of the main ways to prevent leukoplakia. Talk to your doctor about methods to help you quit. If friends or family members continue to smoke or chew tobacco, encourage them to have frequent dental check-ups. Oral cancers are usually painless until fairly advanced.
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol use.Alcohol is a factor in both leukoplakia and oral cancer. Combining alcohol and smoking may make it easier for the harmful chemicals in tobacco to penetrate the tissues in your mouth.
- Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.These are rich in antioxidants such as beta carotene, which reduce the risk of leukoplakia by deactivating harmful oxygen molecules before they can damage tissues. Foods rich in beta carotene include dark yellow, orange, and green fruits and vegetables, including carrots, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe and spinach.
Gums are White and Sore
Painful, sore, white gums can be signs and symptoms of gingivitis or, more likely, periodontitis), which can arise due to a number of different causes, including poor oral hygiene with improper brushing or flossing. Inflammation of the gums may manifest as
- Painful pale gums,
- swelling, and
- Bleeding of the gums either after brushing or when otherwise irritated.
Gum disease can ultimately lead to receding gums and even damage to the bones of the jaw. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the sensitivity of the gums, which may in some cases lead to soreness or pain. Painful white or pale gums can also arise due to localized sores on the gums, such as abscesses or aphthous ulcers.
Light Pink Gums around Teeth
Normal, healthy gums should be firmly attached to the teeth and underlying bone. They are pale pink in light-skinned people and brown, gray or mottled in people with darker complexions. If you have gingivitis, your gums are inflamed, red and swollen. They will bleed easily and may be tender… If left unchecked, however, it can become severe.
People with poorly controlled diabetes and pregnant women are especially at risk. People taking oral contraceptives or systemic steroids are at increased risk of gingivitis. Certain prescription drugs — including anti-seizure medications and calcium channel blockers — can cause gum overgrowth and inflammation.
Gum color in Humans
Healthy gums should be firm to the touch and will be pink or coral in colour, but the exact shade can vary considerably from person to person. If you look closely you might notice they look slightly stippled or have an appearance like an orange peel. Another example of gum variation is African Americans often have darker gums. This is not due to poor oral hygiene. It’s because of the melanin that also causes the skin to be darker.
Healthy ones are not pale gums, and will form a good seal at the gum margin so no bacteria are able to penetrate this area. You might notice a slight indentation or crevice at the gum margin, and this is called the sulcus. A healthy sulcus will have a depth of between zero and 3 mm and will not look infected or inflamed in any way.
Signs of Unhealthy Gums
If your gums have become infected or inflamed then you may notice some of the following signs appearing:
- Your gum tissue may appear darker in colour than before
- Your gums might appear swollen, and they may feel tender or sore to the touch, or slightly squashy
- You may notice blood on your toothbrush or that your gums begin to bleed when you flossthem
- Your teeth could look longer than before as the infected and inflamed gums begin to recede due to the destruction of the gum tissues
- You may develop bad breath due to build-up of bacteria and infection in your mouth
If you do notice any of these signs, then I suggest you make an appointment to visit your dentist, especially if you haven’t had a check-up in a while. This is because you could have gum disease, and this condition is far easier to treat if caught early.
How to Get Rid of White Gums
In almost all cases, gingivitis, or gum disease, is caused by improper cleaning of the teeth and gums. If proper teeth care is not effective, you can use these techniques to treat pale gum at home. Yet, it’s always best to see a dentist for a proper evaluation and course of treatment.
You need to note the following:
Know the symptoms. Gingivitis can progress through its early stages with few visible symptoms. When gingivitis worsens and advances into full-blown periodontitis, the symptoms are usually:
Understand how plaque causes problems. Food trapped under the gums combines with bacteria to create plaque, a toxic stew that irritates the gums and makes them bleed, white or pale in colour. Bleeding is your body’s way of trying to clear out the toxic material from your gums.
Know the non-surgical dental options. Most treatments for gum disease involve the dentist, although keeping the disease at bay in at least half of the problem. If you have mild gingivitis, consider non-surgical treatments.
Know the surgical dental options. Advanced gum disease or periodontitis may need to be attacked with dental surgery.
Help yourself. Regardless of what happens in the dental chair, it’s what happens in your bathroom that determines the success or failure of your gum disease treatment.
Use oral irrigation. It is an effective gum disease treatment that dental professionals recommend for daily plaque control. An oral irrigator is attached to a water source such as a sink tap or shower head. They flood the mouth and gum pockets with a jet of water under pressure to flush offending food particles and bacteria from below the gum line.
Know the limitations of home remedies
Many home remedies rely on anecdotal evidence, meaning someone’s personal experience, and not scientific evidence. Be aware that many home remedies have no scientific backing that they are effective in pale gums, or gum disease. This is why it is important to still visit your dentist and only combine home remedies with dentist-recommended advice. Do not use home remedies solely as a substitute for dental treatment.
Oral probiotics contain good bacteria that assist in restoring the natural balance of bacteria in the mouth after use of oral antiseptics found in mouthwashes and toothpastes. This usually help much in white, pale gums and gum disease.
Some oral probiotics contain a bacteria called Lactobacillus reuteri, which is naturally found in breast milk and saliva. This bacteria is recommended especially during non-surgical therapy while maintaining other gingivitis treatments. Ask your doctor for a brand recommendation.
Try ubiquinone. Ubiquinone, also known as Coenzyme Q10, may help convert fats and sugars into energy. In addition to being used to treat diabetes and congestive heart failure, ubiquinone may be used to treat white, pale gums and gum disease.
The FDA, however, has not cleared ubiquinone as medically-appropriate to treat any disease, so ubiquinone should not be used solely to treat gum disease.
Try a peroxide oral rinse. An oral rinse that contains hydrogen peroxide, such as Colgate Peroxyl, is an antiseptic and antibacterial that may help treat infection and relieve inflammation when it comes in contact with an enzyme in the mouth.
Use this rinse no more than twice a week for three weeks in a row as it can cause tooth sensitivity
Use corsodyl spray. Corsodyl spray is a powerful spray that contains chlorhexidine gluconate, which has antibacterial and antiplaque properties. This is very helpful in handling gums issues ranging from pale gums, gums disease etc. Corsodyl spray may be used to treat any pain or discomfort associated with mouth ulcers, inflammation and infections of the mouth. Corsodyl spray can be used when brushing the teeth becomes difficult and/or painful, such as after surgery. Be sure to keep spray out of ears and eyes.
Try Gengigel gel. This gel contains hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the body and may be used to heal certain wounds and stimulate the production of new tissue. For best results, apply at night before going to sleep.
- Causes of pale gums in humans: https://www.reference.com/health/causes-pale-gums-humans-fba3ed622aebd62d
- Possible causes of pale gums: http://www.oramd.co.uk/palegums/possible-causes-for-pale-gums.html
- Understanding anemia symptoms: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-symptoms
- Gingivitis and periodontitis symptoms: http://www.livescience.com/44153-gingivitis-gum-disease.html
- Leukoplakia symptoms: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/mouth-sores-and-infections/article/leukoplakia
- Painful gums symptoms and signs: http://www.medicinenet.com/painful_gums/symptoms.htm
- People with pale gums: http://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/gingivitis
- How healthy gums look like: http://zapyellowteeth.com/healthy-mouth-and-gums/
- Treating pale gums at home: http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Gingivitis
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