Having dark gums is a problem which can greatly affecting people’s self-confidence. In the past, gum whitening treatment involved surgery, where the darker outer layer of the gum was removed – not only was this extremely painful, but it was also ineffective, as the pigmentation would return after 6 months. However, thanks to advanced laser technology, more effective and less invasive options are now available, including laser gum depigmentation or bleaching.
How does it work?
Laser gum depigmentation involves using laser technology to safely remove the melanin pigmentation that causes gum discolouration. This leads to brighter, pink gums in one quick, pain-free session (usually taking around 1 hour).
In order to get the best results, it is important to know the cause of your gum discolouration before undergoing the treatment. For example, if the pigmentation is a result of gum disease, the gum disease must be treated first.
What are the potential causes?
Genetics:Genes play a huge role is gum depigmentation. In most cases, gum discolouration is linked to skin complexion; people with a fairer complexion usually have pinker gums, while individuals with darker complexions tend to have pigmentation around their gums. This pigmentation can appear as patches, or affect the entire gum.
Other causes include:
Gum disease: Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease which may cause inflammation and discoloration of the gums. This must be addressed first, and can usually be treated with a periodontal cleaning or Laser Gum Therapy.
Systemic Disease: Increased melanin (which can lead to dark gums) has also been linked with endocrine disorders such as Peutz Jeghers Syndrome and Addison’s disease
Smoking:Smokers often suffer from smoker’s melanosis (and gum discolouration)
Metallic Filings:Shavings from metallic fillings can embed themselves in the gums, causing grey/black spot discolouration (known as an amalgam tattoo)
Medications Certain medications e.g. antimalarial agents and some tranquilizers may lead to gum discolouration.