You take good care of your teeth and gums. They’re healthy and straight, and, every six months, your dentist tells you that your smile is perfect. But, when you look in the mirror, all you can notice are the blotchy spots along your gumline. They distract from your smile and make you feel self-conscious to be seen with them in public or even in private around family and friends. Do you want to know what those purple spots mean? Are they normal? Are they problematic? And how do you get rid of them?
What exactly Are ‘purple gums?
There is something called a subgingival hematoma, which is when capillaries and blood vessels are exposed at or below the gum line. This happens as a result of gingivitis (gum disease). The exposure leads to bleeding along the gum line, hence giving it a purple-ish tint. It is important to remember that all gums will have some variation in color; therefore, what we might call ‘purple’ others may refer to as simply ‘red’ or ‘blue’. At any rate, knowing how your gums look healthy is imperative. If they appear red, blue or purple then you are likely suffering from gingivitis and need to make sure you get it treated immediately by seeing your dentist.
What Causes Purple Gums?
The unusual appearance of your gums could be due to hyperpigmentation, which occurs when melanin is overproduced in response to trauma, genetics, or exposure to certain compounds (e.g., medications and food dyes). Your dentist can help identify what’s causing your purple gums. If you have autoimmune disorders like lupus, one cause may be poor tissue oxygenation. While not as common as some other autoimmune disorders, people with lupus are three times more likely than other people to develop purple gums. Lupus is an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organ systems, including your skin and mouth. The most visible sign is bluish-purple patches on areas such as your face, fingers, and toes.
Signs Of Poor Oral Health:
Common signs of poor oral health include bleeding gums, swollen gums and pus-filled pockets around teeth; receding gums, which make it difficult to brush or floss. White or blue lines on your teeth (they are called Leukoplakia) may also indicate oral cancer. These can be painful as well.
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The Relationship Between Purple Gums And Cancer:
One key to your health may be lurking in plain sight. Many people are aware that their dentist can detect oral cancers during regular check-ups, but did you know that when your gums become purple or swollen, it could mean more than just bad breath? When you see purple spots on your gumline, it is an indication of gum disease. Luckily for those who want healthy teeth and gums, early detection and treatment can ward off cancer as well as other serious dental problems. In fact, gum disease and tooth decay are two of the most common risk factors for developing oral cancer; therefore, having annual cleanings and check-ups with your dentist is essential if you want to keep yourself—and everyone around you—healthy.
Purple gums may be an indicator that you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients to keep your gums healthy. The reason for purple gums is likely related to carotenoid, which is also responsible for giving carrots their color. The carotenoid in carrots helps prevent cancer; similarly, high levels of carotenoids are found in dark leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts and olive oil. Carotenoids can help strengthen your immune system while also protecting your teeth from developing cavities or plaque buildup. You might not see any results overnight (or even a few months down), but with time, you should notice that your gumline has become pinker and more vibrant than before.