What is gum depigmentation?
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.
What is the process of gum depigmentation?
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.
How long is the treatment?
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.
How long does the gum depigmentation treatment last?
This treatment can last as long as 20 years or even a lifetime.
What is the healing process like?
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.
What is the cost of a gum whitening treatment?
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.
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