What do healthy gums look like?

Normal, healthy gums help anchor teeth firmly in place. If your gums are red, tender or swollen, it could be an indicator of periodontal disease, an infection of these tissues that support your teeth. There are several warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

If you have any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with your dentist.

Healthy gums should cover the roots of your teeth and hold your teeth firmly in place. They should not bleed, even when you brush your teeth and gums or eat hard food. They should show no signs of swelling or sores. Talk to your dentist if you notice any changes in the shape or color of your gums, or if one section of your gums looks noticeably different from another section.
Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
Gums should be pink and stippled, very tight and bound down. They should have little indents in them. Those indents signify a certain amount of health. Consider your gums' relationship to your teeth to be like skin over bones. If you don't nurture them with proper flossing and brushing, they will eventually turn on you. Gums do not take kindly to neglect.
Smile!: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Smile Beauty

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Smile!: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Smile Beauty

Renowned dentist and creator of the GoSMILE product line Dr. Levine offers this complete guide to getting a whiter, brighter smile. 15 photos & illustrations.

Continue Learning about Healthy Teeth & Mouth

Healthy Teeth & Mouth

Healthy Teeth & Mouth

Your mouth is a complex system that you rely for a number everyday functions, from talking to enjoying a meal. But during the course of a day, bacteria build up in your mouth. Skipping good oral hygiene is fertile ground for cavit...

ies to develop. Ignoring your oral health also allows the bacteria to grow, causing inflammation (gingivitis) of the gums, which could lead to periodontitis, putting you at risk of tooth loss. Learn how to maintain healthy gums and healthy teeth with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.