Although dark gums may be healthy, some patients find them unattractive and seek measures to lighten them. This procedure goes under several names including dark gum treatment, gum bleaching, gum depigmentation and other variations on the name. The gum bleaching treatment is considered aesthetic because the patients who have the dark gums treatment elect to have the procedure done to improve the appearance of their smiles.
What Causes Dark Gums?
Dark gums are caused by what is called hyperpigmentation, a darkening of an area of skin that is caused by melanin. Melanin pigmentation can often be attributed to genetics, and people with darker skin tones and particularly of Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean or African decent are more prone to hyperpigmentation. Dark gums can affect people of all races and ethnicities genetically, but there are also other causes to dark gums that can be cited.
Poor dental hygiene can result in bacteria buildup on your teeth and gums. This can eventually result in the development of gum disease, which in turn can affect gum pigmentation. Smoking can also be a major contributing factor to gum hyperpigmentation, and studies have shown that smokers are more at risk for these issues. Other factors that may contribute to dark gums include certain medications such as minocycline (a periodontal infection treatment), salicylic acid, metal-based crowns and restorations, and some systemic diseases.
How Does The Gum Bleaching Treatment Work?
The most modern approach to gum bleaching involves the use of a dental laser to remove the dark pigmentation on the gums. Although many dentists who perform this procedure may use surgical procedures, the modern approach dentists utilize is the Waterlase MD Laser. The Waterlase Laser is minimally invasive, avoids the stress of needles, and allows patients to receive the dark gums treatment painlessly and safely to remove discoloration on their gums. This soft tissue laser is also used to treat