How To Get Rid of Black Gums for a Healthy Smile

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: May 30, 2023

an african woman with black gums
An African Woman with Black Gums

Your smile says a lot about you. A healthy, radiant smile is a sign of good overall health and well-being. But what happens when that smile is hindered by a dental issue like black gums? It’s not just about aesthetics; black gums could be a sign of serious oral health issues. This blog post will delve into the details of black gums, the causes, and, most importantly, how to get rid of black gums.

1 Understanding Black Gums

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand what we mean when we talk about “black gums.” The normal colour of healthy gums varies from light pink to dark pink. When we refer to “black gums,” we’re discussing a condition where the gums darken, even becoming black in some instances.

This colour change is often caused by a condition called gingival melanin pigmentation, where melanocytes in the gum tissue produce more melanin than usual, leading to darker gums. However, this condition can also be attributed to various other causes.

2 Causes of Black Gums

Understanding how to get rid of black gums begins with identifying the causes. Several factors can contribute to black gums, including:

  • Genetic Factors: Some people have naturally darker gums due to their genetics. This is especially common in people of certain ethnicities, like those of African or Middle-Eastern descent.
  • Smoking: Tobacco use is one of the most common causes of black gums. The nicotine and tar found in tobacco can cause the gums to darken over time.
  • Certain Medications: Certain medications, like minocycline, antimalarials, or tricyclic antidepressants, can cause gum discolouration.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to gum diseases like periodontitis, which can darken gums.
  • Metal-based Crowns and Fillings: Dental restorations using metal can sometimes lead to a blue-black discolouration of the gums, called an ‘amalgam tattoo’.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, like Addison’s disease or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, can lead to darker gums.

3 Steps on How to Get Rid of Black Gums

If you’re wondering how to get rid of black gums, the good news is that there are various methods, ranging from simple oral hygiene practices to medical interventions.

1. Improving Oral Hygiene

improving oral hygiene
Improving Oral Hygiene

A robust oral hygiene routine is the first step towards getting rid of black gums. Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily and use an antimicrobial mouthwash to eliminate bacteria that can cause gum disease.

2. Quit Smoking

a portrait of human hands indicating quit smoking
A portrait of human hands indicating quit smoking

If you’re a smoker, quitting can significantly improve your oral health and decrease gum discolouration. Nicotine and tar in tobacco are major culprits behind black gums. Quitting smoking not only improves your gum health but also reduces the risk of oral cancer.

3. Regular Dental Check-ups

a lady having dental check up
A lady having dental check up

Regular dental check-ups are crucial in maintaining good oral health and catching potential issues early. Your dentist can provide professional cleanings and monitor your oral health, making recommendations based on any changes they notice.

4. Gum Depigmentation

Gum depigmentation, also known as gum bleaching, is a cosmetic procedure that can help get rid of black gums. This procedure uses a laser to break down the excess melanin in your gums, resulting in lighter, pinker gums.

5. Change Medications

If your black gums are due to certain medications, consult with your doctor or pharmacist. They might be able to suggest alternative medicines that won’t cause gum discolouration. Never stop taking your medication without first consulting with a healthcare provider.

6. Replacing Metal-based Dental Restorations

dental veneer restorations
Dental Veneer Restorations

If your gum discolouration is caused by metal-based dental restorations, consult with your dentist about potentially replacing them with modern, tooth-coloured alternatives.

4 Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes to Get Rid of Black Gums

While professional help is critical in dealing with black gums, there are home remedies and lifestyle changes that you can adopt to complement your professional treatment plan. Here’s how to get rid of black gums at home:

  • Maintain a Balanced Diet: Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can promote healthier gums. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can all contribute to better oral health.
  • Hydrate Frequently: Staying well-hydrated promotes salivary flow, which naturally cleanses your mouth and gums, reducing the chances of gum discolouration.
  • Limit Alcohol and Sugary Drinks: High sugar levels in drinks can promote bacterial growth, leading to gum disease. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to poor oral health.
  • Use a Straw: Using a straw when drinking staining beverages like coffee, tea, or red wine can reduce their contact with your gums, decreasing the chances of discolouration.

5 Preventing Black Gums

Now that you know how to get rid of black gums, it’s crucial to understand how to prevent them from recurring. Prevention primarily lies in maintaining good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. Avoiding risk factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is also key.

Remember, if you have naturally darker gums due to your ethnicity or genetic factors, there’s nothing to be worried about. Black gums are not necessarily unhealthy gums. But if the colour change is sudden or associated with other symptoms like bleeding, discomfort, or bad breath, it’s important to consult a dental professional right away.

6 Wrapping Up: Your Journey to a Healthier Smile

Understanding how to get rid of black gums is a journey towards a healthier smile and better overall oral health. Start with the basics: maintain good oral hygiene, have a balanced diet, and schedule regular visits to your dentist. Don’t shy away from seeking professional help if needed, as dental professionals can provide personalised advice and treatment options.

Remember, your oral health is a significant part of your overall health. With patience and perseverance, you can bid goodbye to black gums and say hello to a healthier, brighter smile.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: May 30, 2023
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