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 is one way to remove dark pigment and restore the gums to a healthy, pink color.
What Makes the Gums Dark?
Melanin is the pigment responsible for skin color. Higher levels of melanin usually mean darker skin. Your body can naturally produce more melanin than other people. The body can also produce more 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. Some people naturally produce more than others, usually people with a darker complexion. Although people often assume that gums are a uniform, pink color, the truth is that there are a variety of shades that peoples’ gums can be.
Your gums might also produce extra pigment in response to irritation. Cigarette smoke is a common irritant that leads to an increase in melanin production in the gums. 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, some endocrine disorders, such as Addison’s disease, which cause darkening of the skin, can also cause 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 outside factor. Small pieces of metal, or amalgam, fillings can embed themselves into the gum tissue when a person is getting a filling or if a dentist is removing an older filling. 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 can be the best thing you do, not only for the health and appearance of your gums but for your overall health.
It’s also possible that dark gums are related to gum disease. Usually, the more serious forms of gum disease, such as trench mouth, have darker gums as a symptom. 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. Some people naturally have higher levels of melanin than others, leading to brown or black, not pink gums. The positioning of a person’s gums can make the discoloration more visible, too. 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.
In these cases, Miami Beach laser gum depigmentation might be a suitable option. 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. When those cells are destroyed, 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.
Advanced gum disease can also cause discoloration of the gums, and in these cases, laser gum depigmentation may not be an appropriate treatment. 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
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.
There are some not very common risks associated with it, such as infection and damage to surrounding soft tissues. Patients need to discuss any potential risks with their dentist before undergoing this procedure.
Are There Other Options?
Laser gum bleaching Miami is meant to be a minimally invasive alternative to other gingival depigmentation options. In the past, dental treatments for removing extra pigmentation from the gum tissue included scraping away the tissue with a scalpel or using a rotary tool to physically abrade the gums. The scalpel and rotary tool methods of depigmentation are more invasive and painful and tend to cost more and have considerably longer recovery times than laser treatments.
Schedule a consultation with us!
Your gums shouldn’t get in the way of having a beautiful smile or in the course of your oral health. If you’re concerned about your gums in any way, 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 305-547-8687 today.