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Everything You Should Know About Dark Spots Around Your Gumline

While doing your usual routine with a toothbrush and floss, you spot an area around your gumline that looks darker than what it should be. Dark spots around your gum line can be a good reason to talk to your dentist, especially if those spots remain after you brush. Here is a look at what you should know about dark spots around your gumline.

You could have problems with gum disease.

If the darkened colors you see are specifically your gums, there can be a list of problems taking place, but most of them are going to be related to some form of gum disease. Gingivitis is a telltale cause of darkened gum tissue, for example, because it can have an effect on blood flow to the gums. Smoking or infection or two causes of darkened gums that may or may not be related to gum disease.

You have to watch for decay at the gumline.

Decay that starts at the gumline is actually a really common thing, especially around the bases of teeth that don’t get the most attention while you brush. For example, the backside of your front teeth or the molars in the back can develop gumline decay. Decay commonly starts out as small darkened areas on your teeth, and this can happen right where the gums attach to the teeth because these spots are missed while brushing.

You should see your dentist right away.

Regardless of what it is, that is causing dark spots around your gumline, it is imperative that you speak to a dentist right away. These small issues can grow into something more worrisome. Even though this is not a dental emergency, it is something that your dentist should see, diagnose, and treat.

Contact Us for a Dental Checkup in Beaumont, TX

Any time you spot something odd around your gumline that can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing, it is best if you talk to your dentist. Something that looks minor could be something more concerning. If you would like to see a dentist for a checkup, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX to schedule an appointment.

Recognizing Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the non-destructive form of periodontal disease; however, left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the more serious form of the disease, periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. For this reason, recognizing and seeking treatment for gingivitis is crucial.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis

Inflammation is probably the most noticeable sign of gingivitis; however, this swelling often leads to a variety of other symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Soft gums that bleed while brushing and/or flossing.
  • Consistent bad breath.
  • Bright red gums.
  • Gums that are tender or painful when touched.
  • Purple-looking gums.
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth (i.e., receding).
  • Shiny gums.

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis frequently occurs due to the buildup of a sticky, bacteria-filled biofilm called plaque. This biofilm accumulates on, between and around the teeth, triggering an immune response, which results in inflammation of the gingival tissue (i.e., gingiva or gums).

What Creates the Plaque?

The plaque is created by colonizing bacteria. Unless removed through the use of proper oral hygiene techniques, the bacteria start binding to the plaque that has settled on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed adequately within 24 to 72 hours of its development, it hardens into tartar (i.e., calculus). Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional.

Treating Gingivitis

During a traditional cleaning, or with a more extensive cleaning process known as scaling, plaque and tartar are removed. Since certain dental problems can contribute to poor oral hygiene, your Southern Oaks Dentist may recommend procedures to fix damaged or crooked teeth. In addition, your dentist may want to address dental appliances that are not fitting correctly. Besides aggravating the gum tissue, these badly fitting dental appliances can make it difficult for you to remove plaque from the areas where they sit.

Gingivitis typically resolves after the individual visits the dentist for a cleaning, addresses any other issues that may have contributed to the development of gingivitis (e.g., damaged teeth, ill-fitting dental appliances, etc.) and begins practicing a better daily oral hygiene regimen. For example, brushing longer and more frequently (at least twice a day) with an electronic toothbrush, flossing regularly, and using an antiseptic mouthwash have all been effective solutions for gingivitis.

If you notice that your gums are red and puffy, and they bleed easily when you brush or floss, you need to make an appointment with a dentist at Southern Oaks Dental Care right away because you may have gingivitis.