Just as people have different skin tones, so can people have different gum tones. Often, darkening of the gums occurs because of an irritant and isn’t a person’s natural gum color. Fortunately, laser gum depigmentation Miami can remove dark pigment and restore the gums to a healthy, pink color.
What is Gum Depigmentation?
Gum depigmentation is a cosmetic dental treatment that aims to remove or reduce the appearance of dark pigmentation on the gums. This pigmentation is usually caused by the excess production of melanin, a pigment responsible for the color of our skin and gums. Higher levels of melanin lead to darker shades of gums, which some people may find aesthetically unappealing. Laser gum depigmentation is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment that can help you achieve pinker, healthier-looking gums.
What causes a black spot on the gum near a tooth?
Melanin is the pigment responsible for skin color. Some people naturally produce more melanin than others and higher levels of melanin usually mean darker skin. The body can also produce more melanin in response to irritation. For example, when you tan, your skin is producing melanin as a way to defend itself against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Your gums also produce melanin. Although people often assume that gums are a uniform, pink color, the truth is that gums can be a variety of shades.
Gums can produce extra pigment in response to smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products. The darker color is usually more visible in smokers who have a lighter skin complexion. Known as “smoker’s melanosis,” darkening of the gums that occurs due to tobacco exposure can be reversed by quitting smoking.
Some medical conditions, or the medications prescribed to treat certain conditions, can also increase melanin in the gums. For example, endocrine disorders, such as Addison’s disease, cause darkening of the skin and pigmentation on the gums. Antimalarial medications and the antibiotic minocycline can also cause dark spots to develop on the gums.
Interestingly enough, in some cases, the darkening of the gums isn’t necessarily caused by pigmentation but by an external factor. Small pieces of metal or amalgam fillings can embed themselves into the gum tissue when a person is getting a filling or having one removed. The metallic substance causes a blue or black spot to appear on the gums.
Coping With Darker Gums
How you cope or deal with the darkening of the gums depends on the cause. In the case of medications, your doctor might prescribe a different medicine, one that doesn’t increase pigment. If you smoke, quitting smoking may be the best thing you decide to do since it can significantly improve your overall health and the appearance of your gums.
It’s also possible that dark gums are related to gum disease. Darker gums can be an indication of more serious gum disease, such as trench mouth. In that case, treating periodontal disease with surgery to remove the damaged tissue or with antibiotics to clear up the infection is often your best option for dealing with discolored gums.
Laser Gum Depigmentation Procedure
Treatment is available if the darkening of your gums is purely a cosmetic issue. In addition to naturally higher melanin levels, the positioning of a person’s gums can make the discoloration more visible. For example, some people show a lot of gum when they smile, known as a gummy smile. If the gums are also very dark, people can feel more self-conscious about them.
Miami Beach laser gum depigmentation might be a suitable option for these situations. During the treatment, a periodontist uses a laser to essentially bleach the gums, removing the gingival hyperpigmentation and bringing pink gum tissue.
Similar to laser skin resurfacing, laser gum bleaching destroys the top layer of cells on the gum along with the pigment is as well, leaving pinker gums behind. Treatment with a dental laser is usually quick and there is no lengthy downtime required afterward. Many people get the results they were hoping for after just a single treatment session.
Who can get gum bleaching?
Candidates for laser gum depigmentation Miami Beach are those who have excess melanin in their gums, resulting in brown patches. Laser gum depigmentation may not be an appropriate treatment for patients with discoloration due to advanced gum disease. In more serious cases of periodontal disease, surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged tissue and restore the gums to a healthy state.
If you are considering gum depigmentation Miami, your gums must be in good shape before treatment. If you’ve had gum disease, your periodontist will most likely recommend antibiotics or deep cleaning to clear up the infection first. It’s a good idea to let your dentist know about any medications you’re on or any health conditions you have, whether you think they have something to do with the dark patch of gum tissue or not.
Consider the Cost
Laser gum depigmentation is a cosmetic procedure and may not be covered by dental insurance. Before undergoing this treatment, you will have a consultation at which you will go over the cost and the payment options.
Think about Your Pain Tolerance
While laser gum depigmentation is less painful than traditional methods, you still might have some discomfort after this procedure. Discuss your pain tolerance with your dental professional and ask about any available pain management options.
Understand the Risks Involved
As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks involved. Although laser gum depigmentation is considered safe, potential risks include infection and damage to surrounding soft tissues. Be sure to discuss these risks so that you can make an informed decision about having the treatment.
Check for Qualified Practitioners
Not all dental professionals offer laser gum depigmentation. Ensure that you choose a qualified practitioner with experience in performing the procedure to ensure the best possible results.
Learn About Recovery Time and Aftercare
Recovery time for laser gum depigmentation is generally minimal, with most patients able to return to their normal activities within a day or two. However, it is essential to follow your dental professional’s aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications which will extend recovery time.
Laser Gum Depigmentation Side Effects
Laser technology has revolutionized the way we approach gum depigmentation, making it a safe and effective procedure done by dental professionals. The laser is used to precisely target the gingival tissue, removing only the pigment while leaving healthy tissue intact. This minimizes any potential side effects and ensures that the results are long-lasting.
Patients may experience minimal discomfort after the procedure which is typically managed with non-prescription medications.
Alternative Options for Treatment
As a minimally invasive alternative, laser gum bleaching Miami is designed for other gingival depigmentation options. Dental treatments in the past for removing extra pigmentation from gum tissue involved scraping the tissue with a scalpel or using a rotary tool to abrade the gums physically. The methods of depigmentation using a scalpel and rotary tool are more invasive, painful, and costly, with considerably longer recovery times compared to laser treatments.
Bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide
A common bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can be used to lighten the color of gums. This method involves applying a hydrogen peroxide solution to the gums for a short period before rinsing it off. This treatment may need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired results.
Gingival Retraction Cord Method
This method involves placing a retraction cord around the base of the tooth to expose the darkened gum tissue. The exposed tissue is then treated with a bleaching agent to lighten its color. This method may be more suitable for patients with localized gum discoloration.
In some cases, dental veneers can be used to cover dark gum tissue and improve the appearance of the smile. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite material that are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth, effectively covering any gum discoloration.
Home Remedies for Gum Discoloration
Some people may choose to try home remedies for gum discoloration, such as using a mixture of baking soda and water to brush the gums gently. While these methods may provide some temporary improvement in gum color, they are unlikely to provide long-lasting results and may not be as effective as professional treatments.
Frequently asked questions about Laser Gum Depigmentation
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
Results from laser gum depigmentation are often visible immediately after the procedure. However, it may take a few days for the treated area to heal and the full results to become apparent. In some cases, a follow-up session may be necessary to achieve the desired level of depigmentation.
Are There Any Risks Involved with the Procedure?
As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks involved. Although laser gum depigmentation is considered safe, potential risks include infection and damage to surrounding soft tissues. It is crucial to discuss these risks with your dental professional before deciding on the treatment.
What Should You Expect After Treatment?
After laser gum depigmentation, you may experience some temporary discomfort, swelling, and redness in the treated area. These side effects are generally mild and resolve on their own within a few days.
Schedule a consultation with us!
Your gums shouldn’t get in the way of having a beautiful smile. If you’re concerned about your gums, whether it’s their color or another issue, Dr. John Paul Gallardo, a periodontist in Miami, Florida, will listen to your concerns and recommend the right treatment. To schedule a consultation, call 305-447-1447 today.