Black Gums: Causes and Treatments

Black Gums

What are the causes of black gums (gingiva)? If you have dark or black gums, treatment for cosmetic purposes is available. While gum depigmentation isn’t medically necessary, some people elect to have it completed as an overall smile enhancement.

Are Healthy Gums Supposed to be Pink?

Coral pink is the most common shade of gum tissue. Almost everyone has pink gums, regardless of their heritage or genetic makeup. However, there is a small percentage of people with black gums, or speckled/spotted gum tissue where the pink and black tissues are mixed together or the gums are entirely black.

Unhealthy gums are typically red or even bluish/purple if they are severely infected. While red gums can be easier to identify if your gingiva are naturally pink, it can be harder to see if you have black gums.

Causes of Black Gums

Why are some people’s gums black or brown and pink? Our skin pigmentation is the key to why some people have dark gums.

In most cases, black gums are seen in people with extremely dark skin, as they have high levels of melanin than most people. While not all African Americans are included in this group of people, those with especially dark skin or from certain African countries tend to have dark gums.

Should You Treat Your Dark Gums?

People who feel self-conscious about their gums are less likely to smile, laugh, or speak up in social settings. Your smile’s appearance can affect everything from a person’s private life to their professional and social ones. Even if your teeth are extremely attractive, the frame of your gum tissues and lips around your smile impact your overall appearance. Sometimes our San Diego dentist recommends cosmetic treatments on gum tissues to enhance the “look” of your healthy smile.

Our patients who are self-conscious about their smiles often request gingival depigmentation. Having dark gums don’t doesn’t make them unhealthy or unattractive, but inconsistent coloration may draw unwanted attention to your gums. Gum depigmentation is a safe and effective way to address color irregularities in the gingival tissue to give you a boost of confidence. It can be used as an enhancement to other cosmetic procedures, such as porcelain veneers or gum recontouring.

Black Gums Treatment (Depigmentation)

If the shade of your gum tissues is detracting from the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic treatment is available. It may be that you’re self-conscious if you have dark, speckled or spotted gums. Even if your gum tissues are completely healthy, it is possible to lighten them to a pink color for elective cosmetic purposes. We call this procedure “gingival depigmentation.” Some people even refer to it as “gum bleaching.”

Unlike “whitening your teeth, “gum bleaching” does not use bleaching chemicals or gels. Instead, a soft tissue laser is applied to specific areas of the skin and lighten the color of the gingiva in that space. Gingival depigmentation in San Diego produces long-lasting results that can last several years after each treatment. We use an FDA approved soft tissue laser that is both safe and effective, with no discomfort or lengthy recovery required. Our San Diego dentists set the laser at a certain wavelength and for a prescribed length of time on the area of concern. The laser naturally lightens the gums without applying any harmful or painful chemicals, making the skin more consistently pink in color.

Cosmetic gum depigmentation treatments last for 2-3 years at a time, until those skin cells replenish themselves with newer tissues rich in melanin.

Gingival Depigmentation | San Diego

Fifth Avenue Dental Arts in San Diego offers numerous cosmetic dentistry options to choose from. But your teeth are just one part of your smile. Your gum tissues are too!

If you have dark, spotted, or black gums and want to treat those areas for cosmetic purposes, contact our office. We’ll see you for a consultation to determine if you’re a candidate for gum depigmentation in San Diego.

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