Gum Bleaching - Winston Dental Clinic - Chirurgien-Dentiste à Bruxelles-Ixelles-Uccle

Millions of American’s are affected by gum pigmentation/discoloration that may negatively impact their smile. If you are affected by this problem, you are probably conscious that a beautiful smile goes far beyond the teeth. Gums ‘frame’ teeth just like lips frame a smile, and the color of your gums can have a great impact on the attractiveness of your smile.

Gum pigmentation, like skin and hair color, is primarily determined by genetics. Dark gum discoloration is most directly related to skin complexion and is not an indicator of unhealthy gums or gum disease. People with fairer skin tend to have pinker gums, while those with dark skin will often have varying degrees of pigmentation (brown to black) around their gums. The pigmentation may affect the entire gums or exist as pigmented patches, and is more noticeable in individuals with gummy smiles.

Dental Implants - Tooth Replacement - Before and After Image

Dark gums are a result of physiologic gingival pigmentation, caused by the deposition of melanin pigment within the gums. Melanin is a natural substance that accounts for skin and hair pigmentation in people with dark complexions. Melanin absorbs harmful UV rays and is the body’s way to protect the deeper layers of the skin. Just like your skin can increase melanin deposition as a result of sunlight exposure, gum pigmentation can also increase with chronic exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, or smokeless tobacco ‘dipping’. Pigmentation due to smoking is called smoker’s melanosis, and generally more noticeable in fair skin individuals with naturally pink gums. Smoker’s melanosis appears as a brown band of pigmentation below the border of the gum** It is a benign condition that slowly reverses itself once the individual stops smoking, not to be confused with gingival melanoma, which is rare but cancerous.

Other causes of gingival pigmentation include:

●     Gum disease
Poor oral hygiene causes gum disease(gingivitis and periodontitis), with resulting inflammation and red (magenta) discoloration of the gums. This can be treatable with a periodontal cleaning or Laser Gum Therapy, and may sometimes need surgical intervention.

●     Systemic Disease
Endocrine disorders such as Peutz Jeghers Syndrome, Addison’s disease, and Von Recklinghausen’s disease are all associated with an increased level of melanin, which can result in dark gums or gum discoloration.

●     Smoking
Smokers melanosis (see above) is frequently seen in moderate to heavy smokers

●     Medications
Though rare, certain medications such as antimalarial agents, minocycline can result in the darkening of the gums.

●     Metallic Fillings
When placed or removed, shavings from a metallic (amalgam) filling can embed themselves in the gums and result in dark gray/blue/black spot discoloration. This is known as an amalgam tattoo.

Treating Gum Discoloration

Laser Depigmentation (Laser Bleaching)

Traditionally, surgical gingival pigmentation removal has been used to remove the darker outer layer of the gum. Thought the procedure is effective, 20-30% of the pigmentation usually returns after six months and significant post-surgical discomfort is more common.

Fortunately for our patients, newer, less invasive options are now available, including laser gum bleaching. This procedure involves the the use of lasers to safely and effectively remove the melanin pigmentation that causes gum discoloration. The result is esthetic pink gums in one short session, which is usually less than an hour. Gum bleaching is non-invasive, permanent, quick, and  painless. Since this procedure changes the appearance of melanin, the cause of your gum discoloration should be known before the procedure is conducted. If your gum discoloration is caused by gum disease, the gum disease must be first treated. If you are a smoker, you’ll be required to stop smoking before the procedure is done.



Article rédigé par le praticien le 11/07/2019

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