Also known as gingival hyperpigmentation, or gingival pigmentation, which is nothing but the brown/black blemishes that sometimes occur naturally on gum tissue due to genetics or are usually caused by an excess of melanin production. These pigments are also seen in hair or eye color and are most commonly seen around people with dark skin. Smoking and long term use of certain drugs may also cause this hyperpigmentation in the gum tissue, but more often it is not only the result of genetics. In any case, the concerns of the patient are usually simply aesthetic.
In most cases, there is nothing physically wrong with having dark gums. But if you are not satisfied with the appearance of your smile due to dark spots on the gums, make an appointment today to see how we can help you!
Gum depigmentation or gum stripping is a cosmetic periodontal procedure used to remove dark spots on the gums to achieve healthy pale looking gums. This process can either be done with microdermabrasion peels or lasers.
Gum pigmentation is not a cause of medical concern, and therefore is considered a cosmetic procedure done to improve the aesthetics of the smile itself. For many, the dark gums can affect their self-confidence and self-esteem and cause difficulty when talking and smiling. What causes the gum color to change? Melanocytes are cells residing in the basal layer of gingival epithelium. These cells produce melanin, which are pigments that cause light or dark brown spots on the gums and oral mucosa. The most common cause is genetic factors, tobacco consumption and smoker’s melanosis.
Some practices treat hyperpigmentation of gum with a process called “Gum Whitening” or “Gum Bleaching”. But the spots or “melanocyte” that cause discoloration cannot be removed with bleach, only the pigment cells are released. Bleaching can provide only temporary results where the melanocytes continue to produce the pigment that causes the color change. Therefore, laser treatment is far superior to see lasting long-term results.
The treatment of dark gums can be completed in just one session visit and the patient with dark gums can leave the office with pink gums.
This treatment can last as long as 20 years or even a lifetime.
Those patients with sensitive gums could experience slight discomfort for a short period of time. But they will be able to speak and eat normally immediately after treatment ends.
The cost of gum bleaching treatment varies depending on the degree, location and depth of fading. Each patient will have to be analyzed depending on the complexity of their case, if they have insurance or other such factors to determine the cost of the treatment.