Why are my Gums Changing Color and What Can I Do About It?

Have you noticed that your gums are changing color? Are you worried that the health of your gums or teeth is in jeopardy? Sometimes, gums change color for a number of reasons that aren’t of concern. But, if you notice your gums changing color, this may be a sign of an oral health issue.

Concerned With Gum Coloration?

Healthy gums are typically a pink color. And, inflamed gums that are irritated my display as red. However, if your gums are any other color than pink or red, you could have questions, and rightfully so! It’s important to know that not every set of gums is the same. Just like skin tones, the tones of gums range from person to person. So, naturally, you could just have a darker or lighter shade of gums. It’s helpful to understand what your healthy, natural color of gums look like. This way, you can identify if there are any abnormal areas of your gums that are not the natural color of your gums.

Some Reasons for the Discoloration of Gums or Gums That Aren’t Pink

It’s helpful to know that sometimes, dark spots or even dark gums are not a cause of concern. But, in some cases, this can be an identifying factor that there’s a health issue with your gums. There are a number of reasons for gum discoloration or gums that appear darker than average including:

Bruising: Notice that your gums have changed color recently? It could be the result of bruising. Just like skin, gums can bruise, leading to darker coloring that will eventually go away on its own.

Blue Nevi: Essentially, these are brown or purple moles found on the gums. They’re nothing to be concerned about unless they continue growing and changing color and are relatively common.

Eruption Hematoma: This change in gum coloring happens in children who are growing new teeth. It appears as a purple color change to the gum as the result of fluid build-up in the gums when new teeth are starting to grow in place.

Medication: Different medications present different and varying side effects. Sometimes, medications can lead to discoloration of the gums. This is because medications can have side effects like dry mouth. If this is the case, you can ask your doctor if there are other medications you can substitute for the ones causing these side effects.

Smoking: Did you know that smoking can lead to gum discoloration? Nicotine, which is the main, addictive substance in tobacco products, can lead to melanosis. This is the process of your gums producing more melanin as the result of nicotine use.

Melanin: Some people have naturally darker gums because people with more melanin will have darker gums. So, if you’ve always had darker gums, this could just be a natural color for your gums. However, if you notice that your gums have gotten darker over time, this could point to another reason for gums to be appearing darker.

Oral and Physical Health Conditions That Can Lead to Gum Discoloration

There are some medical conditions that can lead to the darkening of gums or the appearance of dark spots on gums. These conditions include:

Oral Cancer: With this diagnosis, gums can appear black in color in certain areas that the cancer cells are located.

Ulcerative Gingivitis: This is a gum disease that is caused by infection, which can lead to the gums appearing gray or black in color.

Addison’s Disease: This condition impacts the function of the adrenal glands which can lead to the development of darker spotting appearing on the gums.

Treatments for Oral Health Conditions That Lead to Gum Discoloration

If you think that the reasons for the discoloring of your gums are not natural, there are dental treatments that may help. Some various oral treatments that can help address the issue of darkening gums or dark spots on gums include:

Gum Spot Incisions: In some cases, dark spots that appear on gums can be removed by incision using certain dental tools. However, this is not always the case if the cause for the dark spots is something that’s underlying, which means that the dark spots can reappear with time.

Gum Grafting: This technique is helpful for the regrowth of gums lost to gum disease and other dental issues that affect the health of gums. Since gum disease is a cause of gum discoloration, it can often help to repair the appearance of gums and eliminate the darkening of the gums or dark spots. It involves placing live tissue where gums are missing in order for healthy gums to regrow.

Gum Grafting and Recession Coverage at Riverbend Family Dentistry

Gum grafting and recession coverage can help to address a number of issues that affect the gums, including dark spots and discoloration. If you are experiencing dark gum spots or overall gum discoloration, it’s best to have a dental professional diagnose the issue and offer an expert opinion on useful and available treatment. Find out if you’re a good candidate for gum grafting and recession coverage at our office by scheduling an initial consultation to address your dental concerns.