Your smile begins with a set of straight, white teeth, but it doesn’t end there. Black gums or darker stained gums are not uncommon.
There are several reasons you might have darkened gums and in many cases, “gum bleaching” or ” gum pinkification” can help. If you’re uncomfortable with the appearance of your gums, Dr. Joseph Goodman, a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills, can provide consultations and gum bleaching services that last.
Black Gums: Cause and Effect
Just like skin, gums come in a variety of shades. Some people naturally have darker gums than others and that’s normal and not unhealthy in any way. Others however experience a darkening of their gums for reasons that might indicate the need for a change. These include:
- If you smoke tobacco, the nicotine can cause brown or black spots or all-over discoloration.
- Poor oral hygiene. In some cases, plaque (the sticky substance on your teeth when you wake up in the morning) can harden into tartar. Tartar can cause gum discoloration.
- Gum disease. A condition called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis can cause not only black gums but also bleeding gums, bad breath, and even a fever.
- Certain medications including some antibiotics, cancer medications, and antipsychotic drugs can cause your gums to turn black.
- Amalgam staining. Also called amalgam tattoos, this is when the amalgam from silver-colored fillings stains the gums. The stains can be black, gray, or blue.
- Health conditions. Some oral cancers and digestive conditions can cause gum discoloration.
It’s important to understand why your gums have turned black in case it is a sign of oral cancer or some other issue. Dr. Goodman provides general and cosmetic dentistry services, so you can make an appointment to have it evaluated and treated cosmetically.
How Gum Bleaching Works
Before and after a black gum and gummy smile restoration by Joseph Goodman DDS.
One popular method of addressing black gums is gum bleaching. This isn’t like the method used to whiten teeth; instead, a type of laser is used to gently treat the hyperpigmented areas and remove the darker gum areas. What comes through is new skin or gum that is pink in color.
The procedure generally takes one hour. You’ll have local anesthetic, and Dr. Goodman will use laser waves to remove the top layer of the pigmented areas. As the gum tissue regenerates after the procedure, it will be pink rather than black because the melanin cells that produce the darkening will have been removed permanently.
Some patients are concerned about whether they’ll be in discomfort after having gum bleaching performed. The good news is that any discomfort lasts only a few days. You’ll still be able to eat and speak normally.
The results of gum bleaching can last for decades as long as you take the steps needed to prevent the blackening from coming back.
Note that there are some patients who should not have gum bleaching or who should talk to Dr. Goodman first to find out if they’re a suitable candidate. We need to ensure that gum bleaching is only done when the gum tissue is healthy and when there’s a good chance of success. If you have any of the following conditions, please talk to the dentist about whether you should have the procedure done:
- Gum disease
- Other oral diseases and conditions
- A condition requiring you to take blood-thinning medications
- Thin gum tissue or a lot of gum recession
Contributing factors preventing Black Gums
Here are some ways you can avoid darkened gingival tissues or Black Gums.
We know that you know smoking is bad for your overall health. If you can quit before or after having your gums bleached, you’ll enjoy no more nicotine staining as well as quicker healing thanks to better circulation in your gum tissue.
Improve Oral Hygiene Techniques
Your dental hygienist can perform a thorough cleaning to remove all plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. From there, it’s just a matter of maintaining the condition of your teeth. Brush at least twice daily and floss every evening before bed. Dr. Goodman might also recommend a prescription toothpaste or mouthwash if you tend to accumulate a lot of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Also, be sure to return every six months (or as recommended in your case) for continued cleanings.
Have Periodontal Disease Treated
If you have mild gingivitis, it can also be helped with regular cleanings and improved oral hygiene. More severe periodontal disease may require dental procedures, a consultation with a periodontist, or medication. Getting this under control will help you keep your gums healthy and pink.
Evaluate Your Medications
If your black gums started after you began taking a new medication, talk to the prescribing doctor about alternatives. In some cases, it won’t be possible, but in others, there may be a medicine you can take that will meet your needs without discoloring your gums.
Contact Our Office for Gum Bleaching in Los Angeles
Dr. Goodman is accepting new patients and would like to consult with you about your need for gum bleaching. Give the office a call at (424) 344-4597 or contact us through our website. He has worked with celebrities, models, and others who depend on their beautiful smiles, and he can make your smile gorgeous, too! Voted “Top Dentist” and “Best Dentist” several years running, Dr. Goodman is the cosmetic dentist you need. Get in touch with us today!
Joseph Goodman DDS