Dark gums: 5 discoloration reasons and treatment - Implant Perio CENTER (2022)

A beautiful smile is a sign of the overall health of its owner. Healthy gums are usually pale pink and firm to the touch. But what if the gums change color? Or you have black spots on your gums, black spots around your teeth, or your gums are turning dark? These could be regular hormonal changes, or they could be the sign of a more serious medical condition. Keep reading to learn more about the possible causes of black gums, darkened gums, and gum discoloration.

Common Causes for Gum Discoloration

Normally, people of the European race have pale-pink gums; people with dark skin color have a brown shade on it, due to the extra melanin production.If the color of the gums changes, it is a signal of various diseases, even if they do not show up visibly. The most typical issue is that while turning black, gums lose it’s natural look and makes the person feels uncomfortable. Below you can find the list of this and other symptoms with possible reasons for it.


  • Pale gums: anemia and side effect of bleaching
  • Red gums color: inflammation
  • Bluish-gray and blue spots: drugs, poisoning
  • White spots: stomatitis, leukoplakia, thrush
  • Brown and black spots: smoking, diseases

Gums may be abnormally pale. This would not be a white color, but not a healthy pink. Anemia can be the cause of this problem; then the pallor will be associated with a decreased content of hemoglobin in the blood.

Sometimes the gums become pale as a result of teeth whitening. This gum lightening side effect is a result of the whitening agent usage. It will disappear in a short period of time.

The bright red color of the gums indicates an active inflammatory process. For example, it could be gingivitis. Bleeding is one more symptom which accompanies red gums. Local inflammation and bright red color occur while a problematic teething.

(Video) Painless Laser Gum Whitening

Blue spots on the gums are the result of circulatory disorders. Some drugs can also change the color of the gums. The same will happen when a person is poisoned with salts of some metals.

White patches on the gums may be symptoms of several pathologies. One of the most common diseases, when you can see white spots, is stomatitis.

Oval or round sores have red edges and white or yellowish centers. When the disease progresses, the spots become brown and black. After recovery, they disappear.

(Video) How I turned my black gums to pink (Life-changing Gum Depigmentation Experience)

What else causes black gums?

There are several things from your overall health to gum disease, medications, and personal choices that can cause black gums and color changes to occur in gum tissue, including:

  1. Melanin: The body naturally creates melanin, a substance in skin, hair, and eyes. The more melanin people have in their bodies, the darker their skin and hair will be. Dark brown or black gums may be due to a person having more melanin in the body. If a person’s gums have always been dark, there is no cause for concern. If the gum color changes over time or if patches of black appear on the gums, it could be that something else is going on and not just because of melanin and should be checked by a periodontist or dentist.
  2. Smoking and Smoker’s Melanosis: Smoking can cause a change in the color of your gums called smoker’s melanosis. The nicotine can make melanocytes produce more melanin than usual, which will change the color of your gums. They may become more brown or black, and this change can appear in patches or affect the entire inside of your mouth. Your inner cheeks and lower lip may also turn darker. Some melanosis research suggests If you stop smoking, this discoloration might go away, suggesting that dark patches on the gums caused by smoking are reversible.
  3. Addison’s disease: Addison’s disease, although rare, is an illness of the adrenal glands that make hormones. This disease makes the adrenal glands not produce enough hormones. The most common cause of this is an immune disorder where the body attacks the adrenal glands. Some people with Addison’s disease can often exhibit hyperpigmentation in the form of dark patches on their gum tissue, lips, mucous membranes, and other parts of the skin outside your mouth like your knees, elbows, and palms.
  4. Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis: Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a gum infection commonly known as trench mouth. The symptoms are fever, pain in the gums, and bad-smelling breath. Sometimes there is black or grey tissue on the gums because of dead tissue building up over them, and ulcers may form on the edges of teeth. Trench mouth is from bacteria in the mouth. It can happen from poor oral hygiene, stress, lack of sleep, or a diet that is not healthy. The early symptoms of trench mouth are bleeding gums, bad breath, excess saliva in the mouth, and feeling sick. Treatment for this is straightforward. A dentist will clean the mouth and may prescribe antibiotics to take care of this infection. If it comes back, rinse with medicated mouthwash and keep teeth clean to help prevent repeat infections from happening again.
  5. Amalgam tattoo: An amalgam tattoo develops as a dark spot in your mouth and results from particles during a dental procedure that usually appears as a blue, gray, or black spot. They are not dangerous, but it can be surprising to see one appear on your gums, inner cheeks, or other parts of your mouth. Amalgam tattoos don’t cause any symptoms, they’re not painful, and they do not pose any health risks. It is good to get these spots examined by your periodontist or dentist to make sure it is not a form of oral cancer or oral malignant melanoma.
  6. Medication: Some medications like Minocycline, which are used to treat acne, can also cause dark gums discoloration and hyperpigmentation in your mouth and gum tissue and change your teeth’ color. If you are taking this medication and see these side effects, we recommend speaking with your medical doctor about alternative medications.

If you recognize any of these symptoms from the causes of dark gums listed above, it’s essential to see your dentist, periodontist, or medical doctor to address your concerns and propose treatment. Now that you know more about what causes black gums let’s discuss how to get rid of gums turning dark.

How to Lighten Dark Gums at Home

If you decide to take care of your gums and make sure that they are healthy, the best solution is to consult with a doctor. Of course, you can try to use medicinal herbs to reduce darkening. There are recipes of infusions with herbs such as sage, mint, lemon balm, and oregano. These components have an anti-inflammatory effect, however, the result of these measures for dark gums treatment is doubtful. Non-traditional medicine recommends the use of thyme, calamus root, chamomile, and sage. A decoction of these herbs can help anesthetize sick gums, relieve inflammation, strengthen tissues and eliminate bad breath. You have decided to try? Сonsult with your healthcare expert first.

Professional Black Gums Treatment

Have you heard aboutgum bleaching or gum depigmentation? This is the name of a cosmetic periodontal procedure of removing extra pigmentation and dark spots from the gums. There are 2 whitening solutions that can be used to create your renewed smile: a microdermabrasion process and a laser technique. The first solution is a traditional way of whitening. It usually takes less than an hour to complete. An expert removes the pigmented area of tissues and reveals the healthy, pale-pink tissue beneath. You won’t feel your dark gums turning pink because your mouth will be numbed to prevent any discomfort during the procedure.

(Video) Dr Bill Dorfman Fixing Dark Gums on The Doctors

In laser depigmentation, a dental laser targets and ablates melanin-producing cells in the gums. While tissue is healing, your organism creates a naturally more light gum color. A good news is that a result of a procedure lasts for your entire lifetime! This way of how to make your gums pink will make you forget about creams, gels, and other remedies. The only things you will remember are your smile and the joy from its permanent beauty.

(Video) Why Some People Have Black Gums


What does it mean when your gums are turning dark? ›

An infection can cause black or grey gums if a layer of dead tissue builds up over the gums. Trench mouth results from the rapid growth of bacteria in the mouth, usually due to gingivitis. Bacteria may build up because of poor oral hygiene, stress, lack of sleep, or an unhealthful diet.

How do you treat dark gums? ›

Treatment is straightforward. A dentist will clean the mouth and may prescribe antibiotics. Rinsing the mouth with medicated mouthwash and keeping teeth and gums clean will help prevent repeat infections.

Are black gums permanent? ›

After finishing a healing period, Britegums® patients have pink, healthy gums and the smile they've always wanted. The success of the treatment proved that spotty, black gums do not have to be permanent.

Is dark gums normal? ›

Melanin. Why are my gums dark? You may have naturally dark gums because your body produces more melanin. If you were born with darker gums, it's perfectly normal for your body and there's no reason for concern.

Can the dentist make your gums pink again? ›

Laser Gum Depigmentation vaporizes and removes a thin top layer of the gum tissue, destroying the cells that produce melanin. As new tissue is created during healing, it tends to be pink rather than brown. The treatment may require a local anesthetic injection and has a short recovery time with manageable discomfort.

How can I make my black gums pink again? ›

So, here's how you can get pink gums at home.
  1. Select a good and right toothbrush. Toothbrush plays a very important role when it comes to maintaining healthy gums. ...
  2. Brushing technique. ...
  3. Use activated charcoal. ...
  4. Using mouthwash. ...
  5. Coconut oil. ...
  6. Surgical method. ...
  7. Gum bleaching.
Jul 25, 2017

Can dark gums lighten? ›

About Gum Bleaching

Some darker skinned individuals are not happy with the dark color of their gums. Fortunately, laser technology allows us to lighten the gum tissue safely and non-invasively, making darker gums or what some people call "black gums", lighter and more acceptable to them.

Can I get rid of dark gums? ›

Unfortunately, there are no at-home remedies for removing dark blotches on the gums. Most professional methods also fail because they use things like knives or lasers which remove the pigmentation temporarily. Within a year, the spots come back.

How long does it take to get rid of black gums? ›

Patients begin to see their permanent results in about a week, but the full effect of a Britegums treatment appears over the healing period (usually 3 – 4 weeks).

What is melanin gum? ›

Also known as gingival hyperpigmentation, or gingival pigmentation, those brown or black skin splotches that sometimes occur naturally on gum tissue are normally caused by excess melanin, natural pigments also found in our hair and even eyes. Individuals most commonly affected are those with dark skin.

What does it mean when your gums are dark purple? ›

This process is known as Smoker's melanosis. The gums may turn purple or brown. The palate and the inside of the cheeks can also be affected by this change. Also, since tobacco is harmful, purple or brown gums can be a sign of gum disease or even oral cancer.

How can I fix my black gums at home? ›

Unfortunately, there are no at-home remedies for removing dark blotches on the gums. Most professional methods also fail because they use things like knives or lasers which remove the pigmentation temporarily. Within a year, the spots come back.

What do gums look like with gum disease? ›

Gingivitis can cause dusky red, swollen, tender gums that bleed easily, especially when you brush your teeth. Healthy gums are firm and pale pink and fitted tightly around the teeth.

Why are my gums dark purple? ›

This process is known as Smoker's melanosis. The gums may turn purple or brown. The palate and the inside of the cheeks can also be affected by this change. Also, since tobacco is harmful, purple or brown gums can be a sign of gum disease or even oral cancer.

How can I reduce melanin in my gums? ›

Clove is considered good for your oral hygiene. It is a very helpful natural remedy that can lighten black gums. You just have to crush the cloves and you can even add some honey to apply in on your gums. Cloves are  filled with antioxidants and are good for your dental health.

What does Stage 4 gum disease look like? ›

In stage four the periodontal disease has taken a firm hold. Your gums will be visibly receding, exposing tender tooth enamel which can be easily damaged and then start to decay. The hidden damage to your jawbone will start to become noticeable as your teeth start to loosen, becoming wobbly or even moving position.

Can you have implants with gum disease? ›

The simple answer is no. You need healthy, strong gums to get a dental implant. Like we mentioned before, gum disease weakens and dissolves this tissue and bone. So even after you've treated the disease, your gum tissue and jawbone may not be strong enough to support an implant.

How do I know if my gums are infected? ›

Signs that you may have infected gums include:
  1. Gums that are swollen, tender or bleeding.
  2. Receding gums.
  3. Pus coming from the gums.
  4. Chronic bad breath.
  5. Loose teeth.
  6. A noticeable change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.


1. Single gingival recession: treatment with Mucograft matrix
2. Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy
3. Millions reported problems with dental implants
(AZFamily 3TV and CBS 5 News)
4. Dr Farnoosh
(Permanent Black Gums Treatment)
5. How to Treat Gum Problems Around Dental Implants: Dr. Paul Fletcher SDNY
(SDNY Dental)
6. Black Gums: Sign of a Problem or Completely Normal?
(Cosmetic Dentistry Near Me)

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