Our gums don’t only play an important role in the stability and retention of our teeth, they also contribute to the overall appearance of our smile. when we think of healthy and attractive teeth, we most often think of clean, consistently pink gums. However, while mid-pink gums might be the most desirable, we aren’t all fortunate enough to be blessed with this feature.
While it isn’t at all that unusual for gum colour to vary a little between different people, significant colour changes and areas of darker pigmentation can be a sign of health or dental problem that requires professional intervention.
Gingival pigmentation, also known as gum pigmentation, is a condition that is characterized by the development of light or dark brown spots on the gums and oral mucosa.
Those brown or black skin splotches that sometimes occur naturally on gum tissue are normally caused by excess melanin, natural pigments also found in our hair and even eyes. Individuals most commonly affected are those with dark skin. Smoking and long-term use of particular medications can also cause this hyperpigmentation on the gum tissue, but more often than not it’s just the result of genetics. In any case, patient concerns are normally just aesthetic ones.
Some practices treat gum hyperpigmentation with a process called “gum bleaching.” But the splotches that cause the discoloration aren’t removed with bleaching, just the pigment cells they release. With “bleaching” the melanocytes continue to produce the pigment that causes the discoloration. Therefore, the laser treatment is far superior for long-term results.
Remember: In most instances, there’s nothing physically wrong with having dark gums. But if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile due to dark spots on your gums, make an appointment today at Sterling Dental Clinic to see how we can help!