Causes of Black Gums, Solutions & Prevention

You wake up and go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and start your day off right. But that all stops when you realize you have a stain on your gums. What to do? Noticing that something is not as it should with your health can cause anxiety, but the best alternative is to seek to know what is happening and understand this signal that the body is sending.

What are the causes of black gums?

First of all, it is important to know how to differentiate a diseased black gum from a healthy gum. For example: a good part of the population that has more melanin in the skin also has, as a consequence, more pigmented gums. Not every dark gum should be considered a health problem: some are naturally like that, uniformly. Therefore, some causes for black gums may be as follows:


Atypical dark spots spread across the gum should be a cause for alert. It is possible that they are caused by gingivitis, a disease that can stimulate excessive production of melanin in the region.

Amalgam tattoo

Before technology allowed caries restorations to be done as they are today, fillings were performed on damaged teeth. If you have any of these on your teeth, it's possible that your black gum is caused by amalgam residue. Amalgam is the silver material that makes up the fillings made until a few years ago. Therefore, be especially attentive if your fillings were placed in the teeth at the back of the mouth. They were where the amalgam was most used. If this is the cause of your dark gums, no medical treatment is required. But for aesthetic reasons, excision surgery can be performed. However, only the dental professional can properly diagnose the appropriate next step in cases of reddened or diseased gums.


Another rarer cause for the appearance of black gums or dark gums is melanoma. This is because it is a type of cancer that occurs when the cells responsible for pigmentation in the mouth area become cancerous. In general, the spots caused by melanoma are pigmented. Rarely, a whitish gum will be considered an alarm for the occurrence of the disease. However, it is considered a rare type of cancer, representing only 0.5% of all cancers that can affect the oral cavity.

Consequences of black gum

Even if the appearance of dark gums does not initially seem alarming, always be aware, especially with regard to appearance and possible pain and oral discomfort. However, reddened and swollen gums can also be signs that you need to make an appointment with a dental professional. That's because, when not sanitized and treated correctly, the off-white and sick gum can escalate to more serious oral health issues, including pain, chewing difficulties, bleeding, and even tooth loss.

Main treatments

Reddened or black gums can be indicative of serious health problems. Therefore, consulting an oral health specialist is essential for the best treatment to be applied to your case. However, there are some more common solutions for treating white, stained or black gums. Gum depigmentation (bleaching or peeling) is one of them. It is indicated to treat melanin-derived pigmentation with whitening. Another treatment that can be used is excision surgery. It is recommended in cases of amalgam tattoos, to remove the dark gum residue. Both black gum treatments can only be performed by orthodontic professionals. Seek a trusted one to receive the best possible treatment and follow-up.

Prevention is always the best alternative

In the case of black gums, the best solution remains prevention. Maintaining oral health includes:
* Regular brushing and mouthwash;
* Flossing at least once a day;
* Balanced diet with few sugars;
* Pay attention to your own body to notice aches and pains when they appear.

Take care of the health of your teeth every day and go to the dentist regularly. This is the best way to keep away from white, red and diseased gums. Regular brushing, flossing every day and periodic appointments with your trusted dentist are the main best practices.

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