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Three Signs Your Gums Are Less Healthy Than You Think

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Caring for your gums can be a bit tricky. Flossing and brushing can help to keep them healthy, but many people don't realize that they're already experiencing early-stage gum disease. This is because this stage of the disease often has very minor symptoms that don't inflict much pain, so people tend to not realize there's an issue until it's become a bigger problem. For that reason, if you're wondering if your gums are normal or unhealthy, here's a list of three things to keep an eye out for.


To start, one should know that gums can potentially recede and form gaps when gum disease develops. While this is usually more noticeable in the later stages of gum disease, it can happen fairly early on, too. You may not be able to notice it at all while caring for your gums or looking at them in the mirror, but if you have this problem, chances are you've already noticed a potential side effect: food getting stuck under your gums.

This is most common with hard, thin food, like chips or the kernels inside popcorn. These thin, firm foods can sometimes slide under the edge of your gums and cause irritation. Pulling them out will help to keep your gums from getting worse, but this issue indicates that your gums are receding and you're very likely to have gum disease.


Healthy gums should look pink, but some people think that only red or dark gums are a sign of a problem. The reality, though, is that pale or white gums can mean that there's a problem, too. This usually indicates that there's poor blood flow to the region. Adequate blood flow is necessary in order to bring new oxygen to the area to feed those tissues, but also to help flush out any bacteria that's entered the gums so that it doesn't form a full infection. If you push on your gums and they turn pink only to turn white or pale again, this may mean you have gum disease or poor circulation that could lead to gum disease.

Cyclical Bleeding

Finally, women and those undergoing hormonal therapy may experience one unique problem: gum disease symptoms, but only at certain times.

Changes in hormone levels can have a major impact on the way that your body feels and behaves. When women go through their period cycle, it can lead to tissues all over the body becoming irritated and inflamed, including the gums. However, in most cases, this shouldn't be enough to cause bleeding. If there is bleeding from the gums but only on certain days of the month, or when taking or going off of your medication, it may mean that you're in the early stages of gum disease and symptoms only manifest when additional problems occur from hormonal shifts.

All of these conditions can be treated and improved upon with the help of a dentist. If you've experienced one or more of these, it's time to reach out and get help.

For more information on general dentistry, contact a professional like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.