• 26 February 2024
  • Professor Alessandro Quaranta

Last updated on February 26, 2024

Although they may not get as much time in the spotlight as our teeth, gums are just as important to our overall health. Healthy gums, after all, are the foundation of vibrant, healthy smiles. The expert team at Smile Specialists Suite are here to answer the important question ‘What do healthy gums look like?’ and provide the information you need to know whether you have unhealthy gums.

Why is gum health so important?

Gum health is vital for more than just the aesthetics of our smiles; it’s essential for our overall well-being and dental stability. Gums act as the foundation for our teeth, securing them in place, and serving as a barrier against harmful bacteria.

The health of our gums can greatly influence our immune system and the state of our general health. Research has shown that unhealthy gums are associated with several serious health issues, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

This connection between gum disease and health underscores the importance of maintaining healthy gums as part of our routine health care.

Healthy gums vs unhealthy gums

Recognising whether your gums are healthy or unhealthy is an essential element for oral health and reducing the risk of chronic health conditions. The characteristics of healthy and unhealthy gum tissue are outlined below, but the easiest way to identify them is by how your gums respond to your daily oral health routine.

Healthy gums may not react at all, however, if there are early stages of gingivitis (periodontal disease) or even advanced periodontal disease, your gums may bleed or feel sensitive to flossing and brushing.

What do healthy gums look like

What Do Healthy Gums Look Like? One of the simplest ways to know if your gums aren’t as healthy as they could be is if they bleed when you are brushing.

How to identify healthy teeth and gums

Healthy teeth and gums are easy to identify. Here are common characteristics of healthy gum tissue:

  • Colour: A consistent pink shade, though darker pigmentation may be natural for some individuals
  • Texture: Smooth and firm to the touch
  • Fit: Gums tightly hug each tooth and do not pull away from the teeth’s surfaces
  • Bleeding: Healthy gums do not bleed during regular brushing and flossing

How to identify unhealthy gums

The common signs of unhealthy gums present as mild gum disease, or even severe gum disease.

  • Swelling: Gums appear puffy or swollen
  • Tenderness: Uncomfortable or painful when touched
  • Colour: Gums may be bright red or purplish, indicating irritation or infection
  • Bleeding: Gums bleed easily when brushing, flossing, or sometimes spontaneously
  • Recession: Gums recede or pull away from the teeth, potentially exposing the roots
  • Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity due to gum recession or inflammation
  • Teeth: You may have loose teeth or signs of tooth decay
What do healthy gums look like

What Do Healthy Gums Look Like? Gums that are unhealthy can be sore, swollen and bleed. You may also notice loose teeth and bad breath (halitosis).

Advanced gum disease: a health threat

Ignoring the health of your gums can escalate to serious gum disease, which carries significant risks not just to your oral health but to your overall well-being. As gum disease progresses, it can serve as a pathway for bacteria to access the bloodstream, setting the stage for a range of systemic health problems, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Understanding the connection between advanced gum disease and these systemic health conditions underscores the importance of maintaining good gum health through regular dental hygiene and professional care.

How to get healthy gums

It can be relatively simple to get and maintain healthy gums. Here are essential steps for you to improve poor oral hygiene and restore healthy gums:

  • Regular brushing: Make it a habit to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. This practice is crucial for removing plaque and food particles that are precursors to gum disease.
  • Daily flossing: Flossing once daily removes plaque and debris from places your toothbrush can’t reach, particularly between your teeth and below the gum line.
  • Use mouthwash: Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can further help in reducing plaque levels after brushing and flossing.
  • Regular dental checkup: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups. These visits are key to preventing gum disease and catching any early signs of gum problems.
  • Professional cleanings: Professional dental cleanings are not just about keeping your teeth sparkling but also play a significant role in maintaining gum health by removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.

Incorporating these practices into your daily routine lays a strong foundation for not only healthy gums but also overall oral health.

What do healthy gums look like

What Do Healthy Gums Look Like? A healthy mouth starts with good oral care, such as knowing how to brush correctly to clean your gums and teeth properly, flossing and using dental floss.

When to see your dentist

If you notice persistent gum problems despite good oral hygiene or any of the signs that your gums may be unhealthy, it is time to visit your dentist. Don’t wait, especially if you have a history of gum disease in your family. Early intervention is key to preventing serious complications.

Healthy gums for healthy smiles

Caring for your gums is an essential part of maintaining overall health. By understanding what healthy gums look like and taking steps to preserve their health, you can ensure that your smile remains bright and your body stays healthier.


How do you tell your gums are getting healthier?

You will know your gums are getting healthier when you don’t bleed when you brush or floss, and there is less gum inflammation. You may also notice pink gums and persistent bad breath resolves.

How can I make my gums healthy again?

The best way to make gums healthy again is to visit your dentist or a periodontist who can assess your gums and teeth and provide a professional clean for:

  • Bacteria buildup
  • Plaque buildup
  • Gum care
  • And with advanced periodontitis, they can do a scale and clean that treats gum infection and targets your tooth roots

What toothpaste is best for gum health?

The best toothpaste for a healthy mouth is one that contains fluoride. Fluoride fights plaque and bacteria and is considered by most dental professionals to be the gold standard ingredient in toothpaste to prevent gum disease.

Professor Alessandro Quaranta

About The Author

Professor Alessandro Quaranta

Professor Alessandro Quaranta (Prof Q) has been in specialist practice for 15 years since completing his specialist training from the “University of Rome,” La Sapienza”, the top university in Italy* and the largest University in Europe.

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