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Learn about your change of gum color, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your change of gum color from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Change of Gum Color Checker

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Your Change of Gum Color May Also be Known as:
Change in color of gums
Gum color change

Top 10 Change of Gum Color Causes

  1. 1.Head and Neck Cancer

    There are five main types of head and neck cancer, which are all named according to the part of the body where they develop: laryngeal (voice box), nasal cavity and sinus, nasopharyngeal (air passage way behind the nose), oral (mouth), and salivary gland cancers. Most of these cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), meaning they begin in the flat (squamous) cells that make up the thin surface layer of the structures in the head and neck.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate your care with a cancer specialist (oncologist) for further testing. It is impossible to definitively diagnosis head and neck cancers without lab testing and biopsy. Treatment is likely to include surgery and chemotherapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, hoarse voice, trouble swallowing, pain with swallowing
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Oral Herpes

    Herpetic stomatitis is a viral infection of the mouth that causes fever and red and inflamed gums. This typically happens early in childhood.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own because it goes away on it's own. Anti-viral treatment is reserved for those who are immunocompromised or with severe cases. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, etc) works to help with the pain. No antibiotics are useful.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    gum pain, painful mouth sore, fever, gum swelling, mouth sore surrounded by a red area
    Symptoms that always occur with oral herpes:
    gum pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Cold Sore

    Cold sores (also called oral herpes or fever blisters), are viral infections of the mouth caused by the herpes virus type 1. You were probably infected very early in life as a child when an adult kissed you. The virus stays asleep (dormant) and causes infections every now and then after exposure to lots of sun or emotional/physical stress. It is contagious when an outbreak is happening, but treatment is limited unless you are immunocompromised.

    You can safely stay home or try some minor treatments. As a viral infection, it will go away on its own without antibiotics. Balm mint cream (1%) or topical rhubarb-sage cream may improve symptoms, but it's not standard treatment.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    mouth lesions, pain on the outside of the lips, itchy mouth, burning pain on the outside of the lips, lip numbness
    Symptoms that always occur with cold sore:
    mouth lesions
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Gingivitis

    Gingivitis is the infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is caused by plaque and/or tartar that has built up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky layer of gunk made by food particles, mucus, and bacteria. After a while, plaque hardens to become tartar (or calculus). Plaque and tartar at the bottom of the teeth causes the gums to become irritated and infected.

    You should go to the nearest dentist in the next few weeks. There, the dentist or dental hygenist will clean your teeth, getting rid of that nasty plaque/tartar. Once cleaned, you should rinse your mouth twice-a-day with chlorhexidine 0.12% oral rinse (PerioGard) or half-strength hydrogen peroxide. Flossing and brushing your teeth are also essential.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    bleeding gums, gum pain, gum swelling, gum redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Normal Case of Vaginal Discharge

    Vaginal discharge is a common issue many women experience and is likely nothing to worry about. Your vaginal discharge can change depending on your menstrual cycle. Recent initiation or a change in contraceptives can also cause a temporary change in discharge.

    You most likely have nothing to worry about. If the discharge becomes severe or you have other symptoms like itching or foul odor, you should speak with your primary care physician or OBGYN.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, mild vaginal discharge, white/gray vaginal discharge, clear vaginal discharge, severe vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that always occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that never occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal itch or burning, painful urination, severe vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, abdominal pain (stomach ache), bleeding after sex, missed period
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch

    Change of Gum Color Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having change of gum color.

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  6. 6.Condition Involving Severe Trouble Breathing

    Difficulty breathing is indicative of a serious ailment.

    There may be several explanations for this symptom and its severity, but a healthcare professional should make an assessment as soon as possible because it may be serious.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    shortness of breath at rest, hard testicle lump, blue skin that goes away when crying, severe pelvis pain
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  7. 7.Non - Specific Skin Rash

    A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

    At this time, you do not need treatment for this rash. If it worsens, you may need to consult a physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific skin rash:
    rash
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  8. 8.Benign Skin Growth

    Seborrheic keratosis is a condition that causes wart-like growths on the skin. The growths are benign (not-cancerous) and look like stuck-on plaques.

    You do not need treatment for this condition because it is completely benign. However, if the lesion changes at all you should visit your physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    constant skin changes, itchy rash, rash with well-defined border, abdominal skin changes, neck skin changes
    Symptoms that always occur with benign skin growth:
    constant skin changes
    Symptoms that never occur with benign skin growth:
    cherry red lower leg bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  9. 9.Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female genital structures like the uterus, fallopian tube, ovary, and the surrounding abdominal wall. It is typically caused by N. Gonorrhoeae or C. Trachomatis.

    You should contact your doctor today. There, physical exams and swabs of the vagina will be needed to look for infection. Further blood testing or imaging may also be needed. Treatment involves antibiotics (orally) for both you and your partner

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, nausea or vomiting, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain, lower abdominal pain
    Symptoms that always occur with pelvic inflammatory disease:
    hidden: pid: pain fever or discharge
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  10. 10.Condition Causing Loss of Vision

    Sudden vision loss is very worrisome and suggests a damage to the nerves of the eye or the retina.

    There may be several explanations for this symptom and its severity, but a healthcare professional should make an assessment as soon as possible because it may be serious.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    loss of vision, vision issue with seeing gray spots
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Change of Gum Color

  • Q.Has your vaginal discharge been getting better or worse?
  • Q.Is your vaginal discharge constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How much discharge is coming out of your vagina?
  • Q.How long has your mouth been swollen?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our change of gum color symptom checker.

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Change of Gum Color Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced change of gum color have also experienced:

    • 12% Red - Colored Skin Changes
    • 12% Gum Swelling
    • 12% Shortness of Breath
  • People who have experienced change of gum color were most often matched with:

    • 21% Head and Neck Cancer
    • 14% Oral Herpes
    • 14% Cold Sore

Change of Gum Color Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having change of gum color.

Take a quiz