What is pigmentation of gums?

Healthy gums are coral pink in colour with some areas/ patches of black colour due to a pigment called melanin which is normally present in gums.
If there is excess pigmentation, gums will appear dark and more black, less pink.

What causes dark / discoloured gums?

  • Excess melanin pigment in gums
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal conditions
  • Some medicines
  • Amalgam tattoo (silver fillings)

How to treat dark/black gums?

1. Identify cause – First step is to correct the cause like stop of smoking, stopping medicines associated darkening of gums, redoing the teeth fillings, correction of hormonal conditions.
2. Lightening the colour of gums – This procedure is called gum depigmentation.
It can be:
  • Surgical with a scalpel to scrape top layer of the skin if gums.
  • Laser depigmentation with diode lasers (980nm) in contact mode, using the benefit of laser light energy to remove the top pigmented layer of gums with no bleeding and less problems after procedure. Relapse with lasers is more delayed than surgical method.
  • Gum abrasion with coarse diamond burs at low speed and low pressure.