Normal, healthy gums are usually pink but gums can manage quite a range of different colors, each one signifying something different. Here is a look at some of them and what they mean.
Different Colors That Your Gums Can Have and What They Mean
If gums go brown or even black this may be due to an increase in the amount of melanin. Melanin is a naturally occurring substance that regulates skin color; the more melanin, the darker the skin. Therefore, some people's gums may naturally be darker than others due to the presence of melanin.
Smoking can trigger the excess production of melanin in a condition called Smoker's Melanosis. This disease may affect not just the gums but the inside of the whole mouth and it may cause dark patches.
Trench Mouth, or Acute Ulcerative Gingivitis, is something else to watch out for. You can get stinky breath, a bad fever, and your gums can hurt extensively. Your gums could become grey or black if the gum tissue dies. However, we have the tools to correct this if you come in and see us early enough.
An amalgam tattoo is a black, grey or blue patch that can appear anywhere inside the mouth but typically will show up adjacent to a dental filling. An amalgam is formed when a tiny particle of metal becomes detached from a filling and gets underneath the skin. Luckily it is harmless and no treatment is needed.
Addison's Disease stops the adrenal glands from making enough hormones which can cause the gums and lips to darken. With a case of Addison's Disease, dark patches may occur elsewhere on the body, especially on the knees and hands.
What Treatments are Available
If your gums darken or go black, you will probably want to do something about it, especially as this may signify a more serious underlying condition! Whenever you visit us, we look at your gums for signs of illness which we can either treat ourselves or recommend a medical consultation for. We can also offer gum bleaching to lighten the color of your gums should this be appropriate.