Most healthy gum tissue is a shade of coral pink. And that includes everyone, regardless of your genetic makeup or heritage. However, there is still a smaller percentage of people who have black gums or speckled/spotted gum tissue with the pink and black mixed together.
What Causes Black Gums?
To understand what causes dark gums, we first need to look at our skin pigmentation. People who have extremely high levels of melanin in their skin—with very dark skin pigments—might also, occasionally, have dark gums. These can include people who descend from specific African nations.
What causes dark gums isn’t usually because of something health-related. Even when gum tissues are infected with periodontitis, they tend to be bright red. Occasionally, they’ll take on a slightly bruised look, but they won’t be black in color.
Having dark or black gums is, fortunately, considered completely natural for people who have more melanin in their skin.
How to Get Rid of Dark Gums
If you’re someone who has speckled, spotted, or dark gums, you might feel a little self-conscious about the unique skin that frame your teeth. Even if your gingival tissues are completely healthy, you might want them to be lighter or more uniform in color (instead of a combination of both pink and black gums together.)
That’s where gingival depigmentation comes in. This treatment (sometimes called gum depigmentation or gum bleaching) helps remove the excess melanin in those areas so that all of your gums look pink.
What is Gingival Depigmentation?
Gingival depigmentation is a treatment that safely lightens the color of your gums. You can take dark or spotted gingival (gum) tissue and treat it so that a lighter pink color is left behind.
“Gum bleaching” doesn’t actually use bleaching gels or chemicals. But it does provide long-lasting results that can last for a few years between treatments. Rather than harsh bleaching solutions, a soft tissue laser is used on specific points of your skin, leaving instant results.
How Does Gingival Depigmentation Work?
Gingival depigmentation uses an FDA-approved soft tissue laser to lighten your gum tissues. It is safe and effective, without any unnecessary discomfort or recovery times needed. Lasers are used for several different dental procedures, and this is just one of many!
Whenever our San Diego dentists perform a gum depigmentation treatment, we apply the laser to the dark gums using a specific wavelength at a specific length of time. The gums are naturally lightened without any harsh or painful chemicals. The laser essentially dissolves the pigments in those places, allowing the oral mucosa to look more uniform in color.
Most gum depigmentation treatments will last a long time, but the melanin in your skin will gradually come back as those skin cells replace themselves. The majority of our clients only need to touch up once every 2-3 years.
Why Would Someone Want to Bleach Their Gums?
Gingival depigmentation is an elective cosmetic procedure that is often requested by our patients who feel self-conscious about their smiles. It’s not that their dark gums are unhealthy; it’s that any unusual or atypical skin pigment might detract from the way their teeth look. Especially considering how closely our gums need to “frame” our smiles.
Whenever someone feels self-conscious about the look of their gums, they’re less likely to smile in photos, laugh around other people, or even speak up in groups. It affects everything from their private life to their social and professional ones.
Since gum depigmentation can actively address color irregularities in our gingival tissue, it’s a safe and effective solution for these unique clients. Some people use it as a stand-alone cosmetic enhancement, while others want to complement treatments like their new porcelain veneers.
Fifth Avenue Dental Arts offers a wide menu of cosmetic dentistry options. But your teeth are just one facet of your smile! You deserve beautiful, healthy gum tissues around them, too. Our soft tissue laser technology and options like gingival depigmentation treatment can help you look and feel your very best.
Contact our San Diego cosmetic dentistry team today to find out how we can help!