Is Gum Depigmentation Safe?

Everyone knows it is possible to whiten your teeth to improve the look of your smile. However, did you know that you can also get rid of any pigmentation or staining on your gums that you find undesirable in your smile? Gum depigmentation procedures are common and are a great way to enhance your smile safely and effectively and with minimal invasiveness. Generally, stains on the gums are removed through different techniques of gingival (gum) peeling. The depigmentation technique removes stains that are the result of the accumulation of melanin (protein that gives color to the skin) or metallic tattoos (stains from restorations), as well as scars and excess gingival volume.

Gingival bleaching or gingival peeling removes light or dark brown pigments from the gums. Generally, people who have these stains have Asian descent or African descent, but any person might have them naturally. This happens because the melanin pigment-creating cells that they have in their gums produce a large amount of this pigment and as a result, the gums end up darkening, interfering with oral aesthetics. These stains can also be caused by some medications and also are common in smokers.
The procedure of gingival whitening or gingival peeling is performed for aesthetic purposes, making the gum an even color. The postoperative period is usually painless and according to the degree of pigmentation of each gum, there may be a need for touch-ups.

Why whitening or gingival peeling?

Gingival whitening has the purpose of making the gum evenly colored, without stains, thus it is generally considered an aesthetic procedure.

What are the requirements to undergo gingival whitening or peeling?

The most important and mandatory thing is to have an excellent oral health. Periodontal diseases, cavities, endodontic problems, among others, must be treated before performing gingival bleaching. A healthy mouth will increase the safety of the procedure, as healthy mouths heal better and with less complications.


Peeling is done through dermabrasion of pigmented tissues, which is a surgical sanding of the skin. There is no reason to worry as the procedure is done under local anesthesia. “The altered gum is removed, under abundant irrigation with sterile serum”, says the specialist. Generally, two sessions are required, one for each dental arch. The procedure lasts from 30 minutes to two hours.

Result and healing time

The most recent techniques, in addition to offering excellent aesthetic results, provide a postoperative period with a high incidence of patient comfort and safety. Normally, the patient can already work the day after the procedure, as long as they avoid physical exertion and traumatizing the treated region.

The result can be noticed in 72 hours, enough time for the cells in your mouth to produce a first skin to protect the place, without melanin and completely pink. After seven days, the gum looks very close to the way it did before the procedure, but without stains. After 15 days, the patient no longer has any type of postoperative sensitivity, and the aesthetic result can be seen.
Most of the time, the result is definitive. The problem can only return in cases of excess melanin, as pigmentation has genetic influence. It is impossible to predict the time and degree of recurrence, it can vary between six months and three years if it is going to come back.

Side Effects of Gum Depigmentation