Plenty of Americans hate their smiles, but is it always because of the way their teeth look?
When you think about your smile, you probably do think of your teeth first. It’s easy to forget that your gums are also a big part of the way your smile looks.
Do you have darker gums? If so, you may have considered lightening them to show off your smile even more.
To learn more about gum bleaching and what you should know before having the procedure done, keep reading below.
Why Do Some People Have Darker Gums?
There are a few reasons that some humans have darker gums than others.
If you don’t practice good dental hygiene (or haven’t in the past), it will impact your gum health. Your gums might permanently change colors if you’ve had past infections or scar tissue.
Poor habits, like using tobacco, can result in damaged gums. Bleaching is effective if your gums are damaged from bad habits, but if you continue to do the same things you did before after the procedure, the darkness will likely come back.
Your ethnicity may also result in having darker gums. If you have dark skin, your gums are more likely to be darker in color as well. The extra melanin in your skin, as well as other soft tissues, can make your gums look dark.
Certain medications can also result in dark gums. If you take antipsychotics or certain types of antibiotics, for example, then this may be a side effect. After bleaching, if you have to continue on the medication, the darkness in your gums is likely to return.
What Is Gum Bleaching?
Gum bleaching, which is also called gingival depigmentation, is a dental procedure that lightens dark areas of the gums. It is a cosmetic procedure, so it does not cure any pre-existing oral health problems you may have.
Lasers or microdermabrasion are used to target the areas of your gums that have more melanin to make them more of a pink shade. The gums will be a uniform color after the treatment is complete.
While microdermabrasion used to be the most common choice, lasers are increasing in popularity for this treatment due to the non-invasive, quick, and effective results provided.
The laser treatment will simply remove the excess melanin from the affected areas.
Dentist vs Periodontist: Which Is Better for Gum Whitening?
A dentist treats the gums, teeth, and other parts of the mouth. Periodontists only treat gums and bones around the teeth, and they will usually see more complex cases that need a specialized approach.
Because periodontists have more expertise with gums, it is better to see a periodontist for your gum bleaching treatment.
Although this is a non-invasive treatment option, a periodontist is the best choice for the job simply because they will be able to spot problem areas that may need further attention.
How Does the Treatment Work?
The treatment is not as invasive as some other procedures, so there is minimal pain associated with gum whitening. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the area that is being treated.
Because laser gum bleaching is much less invasive, the recovery time is much less.
You can eat and drink, as well as follow your daily routine, almost immediately following the appointment. This means you will get to enjoy your new, brighter smile right away!
What Is the Aftercare Like?
There is no aftercare necessary for this cosmetic treatment. If you have sensitive gums, you may expect slight discomfort, but this will go away on its own.
If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, we recommend that you refrain from doing so following the treatment to maximize the results.
You may also be asked to wait a certain amount of time before you eat or drink, but typically, you don’t have to worry about doing anything different than normal.
The amount of time the results will last for you depend on several factors, like your lifestyle or health conditions. Some patients only need one treatment that lasts for life, while others may need to have the treatment completed more than once.
How to Take Care of Your Gums
There are some simple things that you can do to care for your gums before and after the treatment. Even for people that don’t get their gums bleached, gum care is essential to good overall oral health.
To keep your gums in their best shape, you should:
- Floss regularly
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride
- Stop tobacco use
- Brush your teeth twice per day
- Use mouthwash after brushing
- Get regular dental cleanings
If you ever notice anything that looks abnormal or feels wrong in your gums, you should visit Dr. Newhart right away. They will be able to look at the affected area to determine what is going on and what should be done going forward to keep your mouth healthy.
Your gums can tell you a lot about the health of your entire mouth, so don’t ignore them!
Are You Interested in Lighter Gums?
Oral health and gum care are closely related. If you’re serious about having healthy, attractive teeth, you need to take care of your gums.
It is possible to have lighter gums with the help of the Gum Doctor! We are one of the best options you have for gum bleaching in the area, so contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.