In this country, the standard of beauty is pink gums. When you see anything lacking the smile, in the mouth, it looks like there’s an appearance of something’s wrong or diseased. Black gums come from the melanin or the production from the melanocytes. So think of the skin. You have a very light tone to darker, olivey skin to black and, it has to do with the production of this melanin. Now in the gums, it’s very rate-specific. So you could be Asian, middle-eastern, Mediterranean, African, and you’re prone to this hyperpigmentation. This increased production of melanin. Also, in addition to kind of the heredity and you know the ethnicity, the hyperpigmentation can be from gum disease, from smoking exacerbates it, and also from some medications. But, you know, it’s interesting because it has to do with the standards of beauty. Because in Senegal, in Africa, black gums are a sign of beauty. But in this country, it’s not, it’s really…
It’s perceived as unattractive.
Dark Gums: Sign of a Problem or Completely Normal?
The sky is blue. Apples are red. Gums are pink. Right?
Well, a bit of a trick question there. Yes, all those statements are true.
Just not all the time. The sky can be a magical mix of purples, pinks and oranges at sunset. Apples can be green or yellow too. And gums, well, they aren’t always pink. Sometimes gums are black. If you have black gums or noticed someone who had black gums you may be wondering are black gums normal? The answer is it depends.
In many situations, yes, black gums are normal. Some gums are just naturally darker than others. The gums can also be dark-spotted or have no pink in them at all. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with gums like this. Other times, black gums are a sign of a problem. Several things can cause gums to darken over time.
Five biggies include:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Poor Nutrition
- Bad oral hygiene
- Medication including some anti-depressants (If gums darken after you start taking a new med, consult your doctor to see if there are any other options. Though dark gums likely won’t harm you.)
If your gums are pink but you notice that they’re turning black, it could be a sign of disease.
Black gum disease is also called acute necrotizing periodontal disease. And it’s about as nasty as it sounds. With this disease, the discoloration is due to dead tissue and is a very serious medical condition.
Symptoms of black gum disease have to include:
- bleeding gums
- intense pain
- foul breath
Left untreated, this can spread to cartilage and your bone.
Dark Gums Treatment
If you’ve developed black gums, there are some simple things you can do yourself to try to lighten up your gums again. Partly the treatment depends on the cause.
Black gums due to poor oral hygiene? Try brushing and flossing twice a day.
Due to smoking? Quit smoking (we know easier said than done).
Stress turning your pink gums, black? Try reducing stress through things like yoga or sticking pins in a voodoo doll that looks like your ex!
Another option – if your gums are otherwise healthy – is Gum Depigmentation.
The gum depigmentation process involves the use of a laser that reacts with the water in your gums that lightens and evens out the colour.
The laser vaporizes and removes the thin top layer of your gum tissue.
This destroys the melanin-producing cells and, as you heal, the new tissue that’s created tends to be pink instead of black or brown Dark Gum Concerns?
If you suddenly notice that previously pink gums have turned black, go to your dentist and get checked out. Especially if you have other symptoms like bleeding gums. Don’t put off treatment and take the risk of making a bad problem worse.