Expert views on health issues that matter

Dark gums - causes and treatments

SumiDr. Sumedha Nandhakumar

Jinterdiscipdentistry 2012 2 3 195 113259 u2

Depigmentation of gums

Are you worried of black gummy smile ....?

Smile expresses a feeling of joy, happiness and reveals self confidence. The harmony of a smile is determined not only by the shape, position

and colour of teeth but also by colour of gums. Complaints of black gums are common especially in patients with high smile line.
The common cause of darker pigments in the gums is genetics . Excess melanin in the gums, making them look brown or black instead of pink .

This is more common in Africans or middle eastern people. This extra pigment doesn't indicate any disease or dysfunction .
Patients seek treatment because of cosmetic preference for pink gums that showcase their teeth better .
Other causes of dark gums include smoking, side effects of certain medications and possible effects of Amalgam fillings in the gums .

Effective treatment for dark gums is by Diode soft tissue Laser.
The laser beam produces bloodless field for surgery, cause minimum damage to the tissues and underlying bone and doesn't need any

dressing after the surgery. This has the advantages of easy handling, short treatment time, Haemostasis (bleeding control)

decontamination & sterilisation effects .

Treatment procedure 

Soft tissue Laser depigmentation vaporises and removes a thin top layer of the gum tissue destroying the cells that produce melanin which
causes excessive pigmentation on the gums . 
As the new gum tissue is formed during the healing period it creates pink gum rather than brown . 
The treatment may require local anaesthetic injection and has a short recovery time with manageable discomfort . 
Healing process 
Patients who undergo Laser can experience mild discomfort and absolutely no complications after the treatment.
Patients can speak & eat normally immediately after the treatment. 
Healing period for Laser surgery is about 2 weeks. 
Depigmentation surgery can lasts 10 years or more .
The procedure takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on the colour & depth of the dark patches. 
If the pigments are left on the gums after the healing process Laser is applied again on those particular areas .
The cosmetic surgery is not suitable for 
Patients with oral disease 
Patients with periodontal disease 
Patients taking blood thinners ( needs to be stopped 4 days before the treatment after the consent from cardiologist)
Patients with prominent tooth roots exposed 
( will cause sensitivity after the treatment) 
Keep smiling

Dr Sumedha Nandakumar
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