Dark gum pigmentation can be reversed with modern dental techniques, and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Gum bleaching is one of the most common ways of treating toned gums; it involves hydrogen peroxide treatment of the discolored part of your gum. If undergoing the procedure, you can’t have any previous untreated gum disease history. The cost of the procedure depends on the size and depth of the discolored patch. On average, gum bleaching costs around $1000-$1500.
Maybe you were born with a lighter shade of gums, but they become darker and darker over time. So it’s become a real point of concern that you start overthinking whenever you smile at someone.
You’re skeptical about what others might think about your gums’ dark complexion. Is there a way around it? Can I change it overnight? Let’s take a look at your options.
Gum bleaching procedure overview
Gum bleaching has two types of procedures; in principle, both involve removing melanin, which is dark pigmentation.
- The microdermabrasion method is used to add a white solution to your gums that slowly removes the melanin in them.
- Another technique used is laser treatment, a modern way of gum bleaching that involves removing dark pigmentation through laser technology.
Both of these procedures eventually give out a uniform pink shade to your gums.
The next question that comes to one’s mind is how painful it is since childhood; we have always been scared of that monthly dental check-up. However, this procedure is painful and highly advocated by dental experts; some old bleaching techniques did involve pain and soreness.
More recent developments and laser treatment inclusion have benefited us greatly and have made this treatment a painless procedure.
According to these dentists and dental experts, the treatment can last around 20 years to life, and bleaching is a speedy way of whitening your gums. However, certain patients complain that the bleaching results are very time-consuming and don’t usually last for a very long time.
Note: Complications can occur if you have sensitive gum. You might feel a little discomfort after the procedure; however, if you follow the guidelines given by your doctor, it will all be pink.
There are no such side effects of this treatment; however, if hydrogen peroxide is used, it may cause burning. You can also feel irritation when brushing your teeth after the gum bleaching treatment. However, gum tissues can’t grow back, and hence people opt for these treatments.
Alternatives to gum bleaching
- Dr. Robert Stanley has started his alternative to gum bleaching, where he gently removes the dark pigments, using radio waves. According to him, it is a fast and less costly method.
- Shifting to natural ways of teeth whitening.
- The crown lengthening procedure. This procedure involves a surgical process where the gum underneath your teeth is reduced and reshaped, and the white bone part is made more visible that in the end gives out a result that is similar to gum bleaching as less part of the gum is exposed.
- Being proactive in your approach, unless for genetic reasons, you can take care of what you eat and research elements that make your gums darker (listed down in the article) and avoid that.
- To develop good oral hygiene, you should brush your teeth regularly and develop a good flossing and mouthwash practice. Not everyone knows that it’s actually a good idea to wait a while after brushing to eat something.
What makes your gums darker?
- Smoking – Tobacco smoking, pipe smoking, or any other type of smoking is the number cause of darker gums. The heat that is transferred because of smoking causes your gums to burn, giving a dark texture. Smoking causes smoker’s melanosis. Nicotine in tobacco also causes your body to produce melanin, which is the natural pigment responsible for the dark color. Studies have also been linked to decolorized gums after quitting smoking.
- Production of Melanin – Melanin is the reason for your skin, hair, and eye color. More production of melanin is the reason for your darker gums. It’s nothing to worry about medically, but it can be changed for cosmetic reasons. If you experience darkening of your gums later on, it is not because of genetics.
- Side effects of certain medications – Minocycline is a medicine that is used to treat acne and Chlamydia. However, this medicine has a side effect that causes the gums to darken.
- Amalgam tattoo – An occurrence of dark spots under your gums because of any metal crown piece that gets away from the teeth and settles inside the gum. There are no health concerns.
- Certain diseases – For example, the Addison disease. It is a hormone imbalance resulting in a problem in the immune system. A person’s cells start to interfere with the adrenal glands causing hyperpigmentation. It involves darker patches throughout the body, especially on lips, gums, and knees. Another disease that causes dark gums is acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. It is a gum infection that causes a layer of dead tissues to accumulate on your gums, making them dark grey or black. This disease can be treated with antibiotics and rinsing of your mouth daily.
- Peutz-jeghers – Another genetic syndrome usually occurring in childhood causes darker gums; it usually disappears with age. It can be diagnosed with a genetic test.
- Malignant melanoma – A type of oral cancer that causes gums to get darker.
References are taken from medical news today, Lakeforestdental and Colgate.
Whiten your teeth after whitening your gums
After procedures such as crown enlargement, you can whiten your teeth to have a healthy and bright smile. Most people prefer this way; hence, some of the ways you can do it, some work overnight while others take some time.
- Baking soda is the most basic and traditional way of whitening your teeth, a time tested and proven way. Baking soda has natural teeth whitening elements. Most commercial toothpaste has baking soda in their ingredients. It is ideal to make a paste with lemon juice and baking soda and apply it to your teeth for 3 minutes. It is surprising, but you will start to see the results almost the very next day.
- Charcoal is also one of the time tested ways of whitening your teeth. Activated charcoal washes away all the stain in your teeth. It has one drawback: it reduces the number of other minerals in your mouth; it is advised to use charcoal with toothpaste full of minerals.
- Apple cider vinegar is a natural teeth whitener. Studies have shown that applying with water gives you effects similar to bleaching. However, its overuse can cause enamel to erode; it is advised not to use it daily.
- Hydrogen peroxide can be used in a diluted form with baking soda for instant and fast results; by fast, I mean within an hour. However, it would help if you were careful about diluting the hydrogen peroxide as the concentrated form can cause different diseases such as burning, tooth sensitivity, and tooth stain.
- Eat certain fruits. Fruits like papayas and pineapples have certain enzymes that kill harmful bacteria in your mouth, giving a teeth whitening effect.
References are taken from Medical News Today and Urban dental.
How does gum recession work?
Gums recession usually happens with age, even if you are practicing good oral health. It occurs when gums wear away around your tooth, and more of the tooth is exposed. It is irreversible as the gum tissue doesn’t grow back; however, you can stop it from getting worse if treated.
Grinding or clenching your teeth and smoking tobacco can cause gum recession. Mild gum recession can be treated with tooth scaling and the use of antibiotics. However, if you have lost most of the bone, dental surgery can be done where an artificial membrane is put in your root area to smoothen it. The affected area is cleaned up; this prevents any further bacteria from attacking your teeth.
I hope you found this article informative! Here are some final takeaways in bullet format to remember for the future.
- Gum bleaching is an effective way of treating your dark gums for cosmetic reasons.
- It would be best if you were very particular about your oral hygiene.
- Tobacco smoking is the most critical reason for mouth diseases.
- There are natural ways as well as alternate ways to bleach your gums and teeth for cost minimization.
- Gum damage is irreversible, so you need to take care of them.