The colour of your gums can say a lot about your oral health. Healthy gums typically have a coral pink hue, but they can naturally occur in many shades, depending on your genetic background and other factors.
However, when your gums turn black or dark, it might leave you wondering if there is a cause for concern.
What are the Causes of Black Gums?
Black or dark gums can be due to various causes, some of which are natural and some of which are due to external factors.
In some individuals, dark gums are simply a result of higher melanin production, which is entirely normal and not something that requires treatment.
Upon diagnosis and analysis from a healthcare professional, others could indicate a need for treatment.
If the darkening is due to external causes like smoking, the gums may return to a more normal colour with cessation of the habit, although this can take time.
1) Melanin Production
In many individuals, especially those with darker skin, gums may appear black or dark due to increased melanin production. This is normal and not associated with any disease or health risk.
2) Smoker’s Melanosis
Smokers’ melanosis is prevalent in smokers, where the gums can turn dark or black due to the stimulation of melanin production caused by tobacco.
3) Certain Medications
Some medications, like minocycline, antimalarial agents, or tricyclic antidepressants, can cause a darkening of the gums.
4) Medical Conditions
Certain conditions, including endocrine disorders like Addison’s disease or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, can lead to dark or black gums.
Treatment Options for Black Gums
No treatment is necessary if your gums are naturally dark due to high melanin production. In this case, the colour of your gums is not a sign of disease or poor oral health.
However, treatment options are available if the colour changes due to external factors.
If you’re concerned about the colour of your gums, it would be wise to consult a dental specialist in “Laser Gum Depigmentation” or another health service provider.
In some instances, a dental procedure known as Gum Depigmentation (or gum bleaching) can be performed to remove the darkened layers of gum tissue, revealing lighter tissue beneath. This is a cosmetic procedure and not necessary for oral health.
It’s also essential to ensure that the discolouration isn’t a symptom of a more severe condition like oral cancer.
Your nearest restorative dentist or oral surgeon can evaluate your gums to ensure they’re healthy, regardless of colour. Beyond dentistry, patients are referred to a medical specialist for further analysis of their overall health.
- Quitting Smoking: If your gums have darkened due to smoking, one of the best things you can do is to quit. Over time, your gums may gradually return to their standard colour, though this process can take time.
- Change of Medication: If your medication is causing your gums to darken, consult your healthcare provider about alternative treatment options. Never stop taking your medication without first discussing it with your doctor.
- Gum Depigmentation: Also known as gum bleaching, this cosmetic dental procedure removes the top layers of gum tissue, revealing the lighter or pinker tissue underneath. A dentist or oral surgeon can perform this process.
Seeking Professional Advice
If you notice a change in the colour of your gums, it’s always a good idea to consult a dental professional. A dentist can evaluate your gums to ensure they’re healthy, regardless of colour. In some instances patients may be referred or recommended to an external specialist for further evaulation.
Remember, the colour of your gums alone doesn’t necessarily indicate your oral health. Regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene, and a healthy lifestyle can help ensure your gums and entire mouth stay healthy.
Amazing Smiles Dental does not provide Laser Gum Depigmentation or Gum Depigmentation services.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. Always seek the advice of a medical healthcare professional or a local dentist for any health-related concerns. This information does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.