Gum color varies from person to person. Dark gums and other changes in gum color can be caused by a medical condition, medication, smoking, or other lifestyle factors.
Gums are the hard tissues that surround and hold teeth in place. Their color can range from red or pink to brown or black.
Good oral health is essential for overall health. Changes in the color of the gums can indicate an underlying health problem, so a person should speak to a specialist doctor to determine the cause.
The body naturally produces melanin, a substance that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color. The more melanin a person has in their body, the darker their hair, skin or eyes.
Dark brown or black gums can be caused by a person with more melanin in the body. If a person’s gums are always very dark, there is no cause for concern.
However, if the gum color changes within a short period of time or black spots appear on the gums, it is likely not due to melanin and could indicate a medical problem.
Smoking can cause discoloration of the gums. This is known as smokers’ melanosis.
Special cells in the body called melanocytes make melanin. The nicotine in tobacco can cause melanocytes to produce more melanin than normal.
Gums may be more brown or black. The change in color may appear in patches or may affect the entire mouth. The color of the inside of the cheeks and lower lip may also change.
Research has found a link between quitting smoking and reducing gum discoloration. This suggests that darker patches on the gums caused by smoking may be reversed.
Minocycline is used to treat certain infections such as acne and chlamydia. A rare side effect of minocycline is pigmentation or discoloration, which can sometimes occur in the mouth.
A person should talk to their doctor about any discoloration caused by medications, as alternative medications may be available.
An amalgam tattoo can appear anywhere in the mouth but is usually seen near the filling. It looks like a black, gray, or blue patch inside the mouth.
Amalgam is a mixture of metals used to make fillings and crowns. If particles of this material are dislodged, they may appear under the gum skin.
Amalgam tattoos usually do not require treatment as they do not pose any health risks.
5)Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a gum infection, also known as trench mouth. It causes fever, sore gums and foul-smelling breath. If a layer of dead tissue builds up on the gums, the infection can cause black or gray gums.
Trench mouth is caused by the rapid growth of bacteria in the mouth, often due to gingivitis. Bacteria can build up due to poor oral hygiene, stress, lack of sleep or an unhealthy diet.
Early symptoms of trench mouth include bleeding gums, bad breath, lots of saliva in the mouth, and feeling sick. Ulcers can form on the gums at the edges of the teeth.
Treatment is simple. A dentist cleans the mouth and may prescribe antibiotics.
Rinsing the mouth with a medicated mouthwash and keeping the teeth and gums clean will help prevent recurring infections.
Nicotine can cause higher melanin production, which can lead to discoloration of the gums.
Addison’s disease affects the adrenal glands, which produce various hormones. The disorder stops these glands from producing enough hormones.
Early symptoms include:
.feeling more thirsty than usual
.unwanted weight loss
As Addison’s disease progresses, a person may experience dark gums and lips. The medical term for this is hyperpigmentation.
In addition to affecting the lips and gums, Addison’s disease can cause patches of darker skin on other parts of the body. The most common places where dark spots can develop are the knees, knuckles, palm lines, and scars.
Most cases of Addison’s disease are caused by a problem with the immune system. This causes the body to attack and damage the adrenal glands.
Addison’s disease can cause serious complications if left untreated. If hormone levels get too low, it can cause an adrenal crisis.
Symptoms of adrenal crisis include severe dehydration, rapid and shallow breathing, lethargy, and pale, clammy skin. Adrenal crisis is a medical emergency.
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is a genetic condition that can increase the risk of developing polyps or cancer.
One of the early signs is the appearance of dark blue or dark brown freckles. These can occur in the mouth as well as on the skin of the fingers and toes.
Peutz-Jeghers freckles typically appear in childhood and fade with age. Another important symptom is bleeding or a blockage in the gut, which often also occurs in childhood.
A genetic test can show whether a person has Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.
Treatment for dark gums will depend on the underlying cause. Conditions such as gum infections or Addison’s disease will often need medication.
It may be possible to reverse changes in gum color caused by smoking. A doctor should be able to give advice and support in quitting smoking.
Aesthetic dentists may recommend gum whitening to lighten the color of the gums. However, bleaching can damage the gums and should only be done by a qualified dentist.
Good oral hygiene and reducing sugar intake will help keep teeth and gums healthy.
People can maintain good oral hygiene by brushing regularly, flossing once a day, and cutting back on sugar.
These actions should be carried out in conjunction with regular visits to the dentist. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to keep teeth and gums healthy.
The person may also want to brush their gums regularly and gently, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Oral hygiene products, including toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwash, can be purchased at most pharmacies and online.
Causes of dark gums are usually treatable. Genetic conditions often present with a range of symptoms that can help a doctor or dentist diagnose a disease.
Paying attention to changes in the color of the gums can help a person find and treat any health problems early.