Black Gums

by Sam Malone

Your gums play a very important role in your smile as well as your overall appearance and therefore, it is hardly a surprise if you yearn for pink, healthy-looking gums. Even a slight darkening or blackening of the gums could make you highly self-conscious about your face, especially your smile. However, dark patches or spots on the gums can be more than just an unsightly occurrence. In some instances, your gums could turn black in color, as an indication of of an underlying health problem that needs to be treated as soon as possible. At times, poor oral hygiene or lifestyle choices could also lead to darkening of the gums.

There are several factors that could lead to black gums in adults and children. Some of the common causes of dark gums include

  • Heredity
  • Ethnic background
  • Use of certain medication
  • Smoking
  • Excessive stress
  • Lack of proper hygiene
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Formation of plaque and tartar

At times, your gums could turn dark gray or black in color due to the accidental implantation of silver amalgam in your gum tissue during extraction or restoration of the teeth. These discolored patches are known as amalgamation tattoos and they are characterized by spotted black gums around crown, dentures and fillings.

These cases of black gums can usually be treated by a dentist. You may be asked to make a few changes in your lifestyle which include

  • Brushing and flossing your teeth properly, twice or three times a day
  • Gargling with a good mouthwash or some warm salt water twice each day
  • Quitting unhealthy practices like smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Following a diet that is high in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients
  • Practicing stress reduction techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing
  • Undergoing regular cleanups at the dentist

Unfortunately, some cases of black gums could also be a symptom of a serious medical condition, which needs to be treated by a doctor. These include

  • Oral infections
  • Periodontal or black gum disease
  • Necrosis or dead tissue of the gums
  • Internal bleeding
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Acute ulcerative gingivitis
  • Malignant melanoma

These conditions are quite serious and require immediate medical attention. Your doctor will prescribe medication, which could include antibiotics like metronidazole, clavulanic acid and amoxicillin. If medication does not restore the color and health of your gums, you may need to get the damaged tissue surgically removed by the periodontist. Oxygen therapy can also be quite effective in the treatment of black gums.


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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