Smile expresses happiness, success, affection, sensuality. Smile is influenced not only by the position, shape and color of teeth but also the appearance of gums. Appearance of gums is an essential part of beautiful smile.
Having natural pink color gums is very important for good smile. Smile looks beautiful if one has beautiful teeth with natural looking pink gums. But that is not always possible. Generally the gums color is same as the skin color. The people from the west are fair and their gum color is also pink mostly. Dark gums are mostly seen in dark skinned people. The gum discoloration may be present in patches. The extent of gum discoloration and the intensity is different for different individuals. Dark pigmented gums don’t mean that they are unhealthy and are not an indication of a disease.
Racial or physiological gingival pigmentation: It is seen as the genetic trait. The main culprit behind this is the black pigment known as Melanin.
The production of melanin increases manifolds in the presence of sunlight. At the same time it is more in the persons having complexion towards darker side. The individuals who are involved in outdoor activity tend to have darker gums. Even the children who are more active outdoor and at the same time have gummy smile are more prone to have dark gums. Once the gums become dark during the childhood they tend to stay that way. The gums around the teeth tend to become dark but the part of the gums which is hidden under the lips has natural pink color.
In certain diseases like Addison’s disease, peutz jeghers syndrome, von recklinghausen’s disease, there is an increase in melanin pigmentation. In case of Addison’s disease, adrenal dysfunction produces isolated patches of discoloration varying from bluish black to brown.
Poor oral hygiene: Gum diseases can occur because of poor oral hygiene which may cause gums pigmentation. There is inflammation, redness and bleeding in case of gum diseases which may cause darkening of the gums.
Smoking: Smoking also causes dark gums. Tobacco consumers also have darker gums in comparison to non-tobacco consumers.
Medications: Some medication like minocycline, antimalarial agents, tricyclic antidepressants can also cause dark gums.
Metallic fillings: The metallic fillings which get corroded can also cause dark gums.
Treatment of the dark gums is possible. The blackness of the dark gums is merely superficial. When the outer dark colored layer is removed, the pink aesthetic looking gums appear.
Patient with Dark Gums Pigment Layer Removed in Maxillary
1 week post-operative picture 6 months post-operative picture
1. Another treatment to treat the dark pigmentation of gums is the gum bleaching which is done using the lasers known as the water lease system. Erbium:YAG is a safe and efficient treatment. It causes alteration of melanin pigment in gingival tissues and produces esthetic pink gums.
2. It is quick, painless and gives good results.
3. The dark gums can be made pink and healthy in a single one hour visit.
4. The results are permanent. The melanin pigment which is the cause of the dark gums does not comeback.
5. Before going for the treatment the cause of the discoloration should be known. If the gums are unhealthy and they have the signs and symptoms of gum disease like bleeding swelling or inflammation then first of all before going for the gum bleaching the underlying infection has to be treated.
6. When the gums are healthy only then the gum bleaching should be carried out. If the person is a smoker, then he has to quit smoking before going for the gum bleaching.
7. Benefits of Gum Bleaching:
There are many benefits of gum bleaching:
a. In a single visit the dark spots or the dark looking gums can be given esthetically pleasant looking appearance
b. It boosts the confidence of the patient. Now the patient can smile without looking embarrassed.
c. It is quick, less time consuming and gives good results
8. Procedure for Gum Bleaching:
a) Procedure depends upon the extent, depth and type of discoloration.
b) It is done under local anesthesia and is painless procedure.
c) Depending upon the depth and extent of discoloration the gum bleaching is done with lasers.
d) In some cases where the discoloration is not very deep no surgery is required but in some minor surgery is required.
e) Healing is very quick and patient does not feel any discomfort afterwards.
Before Lasers Treatment Dark Pigmentation Eliminated by using
There are absolutely no complications after the gum surgery and there is no discomfort. The patient can talk and eat normally after the gum beaching procedure. In some cases where the gums are very sensitive the patient can feel minor discomfort but that to goes with healing which is very quick.
There is no special post operative care after the gum bleaching. The good oral hygiene has to be maintained like proper brushing and flossing. Those who smoke has to quit smoking at least till the time the proper healing takes place.
Now with the treatment options like laser surgery for gum bleaching having pink gums is not a distant dream. One can easily have beautiful smile but maintaining them is essential.
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