Gingival hyperpigmentation (GH) is a condition in which the gums develop dark pigmentation, resulting in discoloration of the gums and teeth. Commonly referred to as black gums, GH may be genetic, environmentally caused or a combination of the two. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat this skin condition without having to resort to laser treatments or other types of invasive surgery. This article describes how to tell if you have gingival hyperpigmentation, what causes it, and how you can use home remedies and over-the-counter products to get rid of black gums for good!
The colors seen on gums are caused by melanin, which is an oxidized form of melanocyte, a skin pigment cell. It can also be a physiological response to skin irritation such as trauma or burns and may also occur in some people with stress or anxiety. In many cases, you may not need any treatment if it goes away on its own but there are situations where it could signify periodontitis (gum disease). If that’s what’s happening, you’ll want to see your dentist immediately because untreated periodontitis can result in tooth loss. Depending on what’s causing it, gum hyperpigmentation might be more stubborn than others because it doesn’t just disappear over time.
What Are Gingival Pigmentation?
Gums hyperpigmentation, also called gingival hypertrophy or erythema, is defined as an increase in tooth color surrounding a given area. Usually caused by the accumulation of excess pigment in gums, pigmented areas may range from yellow to dark brown. Most often it’s localized to one particular part of the mouth such as near a wisdom tooth but may be present on a few or all teeth. There are some cases when both gingival hypertrophy and mucosal discoloration occur simultaneously. Rarely, these reactions are manifested only by patches of redness but not pigmented change. These findings can lead to questioning of whether there is a hidden health condition that requires professional consultation.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Pigmentation?
If you suffer from gums hyperpigmentation, you might be able to treat it with topical agents. A doctor can examine your gums and make recommendations about how to treat them. Depending on your situation, you may need only a course of non-prescription medicines to alleviate symptoms. Some other situations, such as severe gum recession or infections due to gum disease, might require more advanced treatments like surgery or even medication therapy. Either way, it’s best to see a doctor who can help clear up any confusion regarding what options are best for your specific case.
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Where Does Your Gum Pigmentation Come From?
Gingival hyperpigmentation is a brown or gray discoloration of teeth and gums, usually caused by poor oral hygiene. The gums become darker as plaque builds up over time, along with any bacteria that may lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis itself can be caused by many factors including genetics, hormonal changes, systemic diseases like diabetes or AIDS, pregnancy or stress. As a result of all these possibilities, it is hard to determine exactly where your own hyperpigmentation comes from. It is important to note that having discolored gums should not automatically signal you have gum disease; however, if they are accompanied by bleeding while brushing then you should schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
What Are The Causes Of Gum Pigmentation?
You may be wondering what causes hyperpigmentation in your gums. The causes could range from any factor such as genetics, smoking, food intake, and medical conditions to name a few. In cases where there is no other underlying condition for gingival hyperpigmentation, one of these factors is likely responsible for it. The key to understanding what causes gingival hyperpigmentation is identifying which of these culprits are in your case. Here are some of them
What Are My Treatment options?
Gingival hyperpigmentation can be a disfiguring condition in some individuals, but it is usually not problematic. In addition to gingival bleaching products, affected people may benefit from using a mild non-alcohol mouthwash with sodium perborate or hydrogen peroxide. For severe cases of hyperpigmentation, a dermatologist may suggest light-based therapy options like laser resurfacing or IPL. If these fail to provide relief, however, other therapeutic agents can be prescribed such as minocycline or retinoids. These often have side effects that limit their use; thus it is important to work with your doctor when deciding on a course of treatment.