Posted on 2/15/2019 by Henry Cuttler DDS
|The aging process occurs within all your body's cells, including the gums and even the teeth. As you get older, you may notice changes in your gums, including their color. Certain health conditions are more common among older adults, and the use of certain medications can also affect your oral health.
Medications and Darker Gums
The medication that you take can change your gum color. As you get older, you may be on medications to treat chronic conditions and acute illnesses, and the result may be darker gums.
Additionally, certain medications can lead to dry mouth, which can also dry out and alter the color of your mouth's soft tissues. When there isn't enough saliva to properly lubricate and hydrate the tissues, you may experience dry mouth. Unfortunately, dry mouth increases your risk of cavities, gum disease, mouth sores, and problems with chewing and swallowing, so you'll want to treat this condition.
Other Gum Troubles
Darker coloring shouldn't be your only concern when it comes to your gums as you age. Receding gums are common during this phase of life. This involves gum tissue that pulls away from the teeth, exposing the root, or base, of the tooth. This makes it easier for bacteria to accumulate and may lead to decay and inflammation.
There are two major culprits associated with receding gums: gum disease and a life of aggressive brushing. Gum disease involves two phases – gingivitis and periodontitis. In its earliest stages, gingivitis will make your gums appear darker red in color, and they will bleed easily. As plaque and tartar accumulate, you may move into a more serious stage of gum disease known as periodontitis. This condition can ultimately lead to tooth loss and other serious problems.
Have you noticed a change in the appearance of your gums? If so, give our office a call today to set up your next appointment.