Dark Spots On Your Gums: How Your Dentist Can Get Rid Of Them

If you wish to whiten your teeth, you can either use an at-home kit or have your dentist do the work for you. But if you need to change the color of your gums in order to remove a curious imperfection, you'll need to see your dentist. What does this involve, and why would anyone need to consider the color of their gums?

Accumulations of Melanin

The appearance of dark spots on your gums can be disconcerting, and you should certainly see your dentist so that these can be promptly identified. In many cases, these dark spots are nothing more than accumulations of melanin—naturally occurring organic pigments that determine the color of skin and other tissues. When present on your gingival tissues, these melanin accumulations are benign. It's mostly a cosmetic concern because these dark spots can be noticeable when you smile. So how will a dentist restore your gums to their former pinkness?

Medications and Smoking

There may be a direct cause of your melanin accumulations. It can be a side effect of some medications, and your dentist will want to discuss your medical history to identify any medications which may play a role. There's also a condition known as smoker's melanosis, which is a change to the pigmentation of your gingival tissues directly related to the inhalation of tobacco. If medication is thought to be the cause, you may wish to talk to your doctor. An alternative form of medication may be available that doesn't affect your gingival pigmentation. If smoking is the culprit, you will be advised to stop. The dark spots should then clear up without the need for any dental intervention.

Removing the Problem

If your melanin accumulations are the result of genetic factors, no behavioral changes will make a difference. Fortunately, your dentist may have a solution. The melanin accumulations will be removed from your gingival tissues, usually with a dental laser. The laser targets the problematic melanocytes (cells that produce melanin) in your gums—and these are the dark patches you see. There will be some mild irritation to your gums afterward, but this will fade. As your gums heal, they will return to a healthy pink color, with the dark spots now gone.

Any abnormal growth on your body should be checked out by a medical professional, and this certainly applies to dark spots that have developed on your gums. But once those dark spots are identified as nothing more than a melanin accumulation, your dentist can take action. Just as you probably want white teeth, you're likely to want pink gums.

Contact a local dentist to learn more.