What Causes Dark Gums and How to Treat Them

Dark Gums – What Causes Them and How to Treat Them


If you’ve noticed your gums are significantly darker than the rest of your teeth, you’re not alone. Dark gums, also sometimes referred to as black gums by some, are quite common among certain groups of people and can be quite alarming when they appear. Some people may even find them unattractive and end up being self-conscious about smiling or opening their mouth in front of others for fear that their dark gums will be visible or get in the way of social interactions or overall enjoyment of life.

Black Gums: The Basics

Dentists call dark gums melanin-rich gingival tissues. The coloration comes from a substance called melanin, which is a natural pigment that also makes skin darker when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, as well as hair, eyes, and fingernails. Melanin is produced by cells known as melanocytes; they produce other pigments—including carotene (the stuff that makes carrots orange), yellowy pteridines, eumelanins (for brown shades), phaeomelanins (reddish-yellow shades), and lipofuscin (brownish yellow) —which combine with white-pigmented cells of dentine in your teeth.

Whitening Your Teeth

If you want white gums, there are a number of ways to get them. You can change your toothbrush head more often (the bristles will become frayed over time, making it harder for them to do their job) or use an electric toothbrush instead. Dentists also offer teeth bleaching services. But before you have any of these procedures done, it’s important that you consult with your dentist first.

Natural Remedies for Black Gums

There are a handful of natural remedies that can help reduce your gum color. Consider these solutions before you opt for an amalgam tattoo: 1. Visit your dentist: Your dentist may be able to offer advice or recommend treatments based on what’s causing dark gums. … 2. Switch up your toothbrush: Using an electric or manual brush with whitening bristles, like Colgate® Total® Advanced Pro-ShieldTM, can help you scrub off any discoloration on your teeth and brighten them over time. 3.

Diet Tips for Black Gums

If you have black gums, there are a couple of things you can do to address them. Try cutting out acidic foods that may be contributing to your discoloration; these foods include tomatoes, lemons, grapefruits, oranges, wine and vinegar. While uncommon, gum disease can occur in those with dark gums. If you notice any symptoms such as redness or swelling or severe pain when brushing your teeth, speak with your dentist immediately. Speak with your doctor if you have other health conditions or take medications that could be causing discoloration such as Addison’s disease or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. If it is determined that medication is contributing to dark gum coloration, talk with your doctor about changing dosages or making a switch entirely if necessary.

Risks of Surgery on Black Gums

The first—and most common—risk associated with removing black gums is that they’ll return. While black gums are natural, depending on their severity, many people who undergo gum surgery do so in an attempt to improve their appearance. Black gums can be unsightly, but there’s a chance that you may look exactly how your body intended for you to look before undergoing a procedure. It’s important that you weigh all risks before undergoing treatment, and know what effects any procedure will have on your body in both the short term and long term.

What causes darkening of the gums?

Darkening of gum tissue may be attributed to a number of things, including … melanin. Melanin is a pigment found in skin and hair, as well as teeth and gums … Smoking. Smoking can cause discolored gums. Medication … Amalgam tattoo. Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. Addison’s disease. Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.

How can I get rid of dark gums?

Smoking, medications (steroids, for example), amalgam tattooing, acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (Genetic disorder that affects much of your digestive system) Dark gums can also be caused by a buildup of excess melanin in gum tissues. This typically occurs naturally with age. Additionally, dark gums are sometimes linked to some staining agents. The best way to treat dark gums is with a trip to your dentist or periodontist! There are a number of different methods your practitioner can use depending on what’s causing them. Your professional should be able assess your situation in order to determine which method will work best for you.

Do gums get darker with age?

Most people’s gums are naturally red or pink. However, if you see black spots on your gums, it could be a sign that you have excess melanin in your body—which can cause darker pigmentation. But don’t be alarmed. It’s normal for gum color to vary from person to person, and many health issues can cause discolored gums—including smoking, medications, an amalgam tattoo (the darkening of gums associated with dental procedures), or disease. Regardless of what is causing your blackened gums, there are simple treatments available. Read on for more information about dark-colored gum tissue.

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