Creating the perfect smile does not always mean straight white teeth. You may have the whitest and straightest teeth, but gum hyperpigmentation may leave you unsatisfied with your smile. If you dislike your gums because they are too dark or patchy, gum bleaching may be your answer.
What Is Gum Bleaching (Depigmentation)?
Gum bleaching, or gum depigmentation, is a cosmetic dentistry procedure. It can reduce the hyperpigmentation in your gums to leave you with a brighter, more natural colored gum line.
Hyperpigmentation in your gingival tissue can make your gums look darker, brown, spotted, and unhealthy, even if well cared for. This hyperpigmentation can simply be genetic. Although there is nothing wrong with genetically darker gums, many people prefer lighter gums and lighten them for cosmetic reasons. Aside from genetics, certain medications, smoking, and silver fillings can darken gums.
The Leading Causes of Gum Hyperpigmentation (Black Gums)
People who have smoked for many years can suffer from a condition called ‘smoker’s melanosis.’ This can cause the tissue of their gums to go brown or black.
Antimalarial agents, certain tranquilizers, and other prescription medications can cause gum discoloration if taken for an extended time. This hyperpigmentation can be permanent even after you stop taking the drug.
In the vast majority of cases, dark gums are connected to skin complexion. Those with fairer skin tend to have paler, pinker gums. However, those with darker complexions often experience more pigmentation inside their mouths. In some cases, this pigmentation can look patchy or may only affect a portion of the gum line. Although darker gums are natural for people with darker complexions, it is not uncommon for these individuals to request gum bleaching for cosmetic reasons.
Gum disease is widespread and can also cause discoloration of the gums. If your hyperpigmentation is caused by gum disease, then it is essential to have your gum disease treated first, after which the remaining hyperpigmentation can be treated to restore your gums to their previous color.
Another possible cause for hyperpigmentation in the gums or lips is due to increased melanin as a result of systemic diseases such as Peutz Jeghers Syndrome and Addison’s disease.
Old Metal Fillings
Lastly, if you have an old metallic filling, over time metal shavings can embed into your gum line causing discoloration. This is also known as an amalgam tattoo.
The Benefits of Gum Bleaching
For most people, the main benefit of gum bleaching or depigmentation is simply to have a more natural gum color. It provides them the confidence they need to show their smile.
The laser depigmentation procedure is quick and efficient so that you can get back to your daily routine with virtually no down-time, and to prevent any discomfort, your mouth will be numbed by a member of our dental team before the procedure starts. As a non-invasive procedure, laser gum whitening also enables you to leave the practice with same-day results and allows you to eat and drink again straight away.
To summarize, some of the main benefits of laser gum whitening are:
- Fast, natural-looking results.
- No invasive surgery.
- No downtime.
- A short recovery time.
- The ability to eat and drink again straight away.
- No needles or discomfort.
How Does Laser Gum Bleaching Work?
Gum depigmentation can be achieved with one of two main procedures – bleaching with a laser, or the removal of melatonin-containing cells with microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion used to be the traditional method of choice. It involved the application of whitening gel and the removal of any remaining melanin-containing cells with a microdermabrasion tool.
Today, thanks to the innovation of laser technology, a specialized laser can gently, safely, and non-invasively whiten the gum line in place of microdermabrasion techniques.
During the laser gum whitening procedure, an FDA approved dental laser removes the top pigment from the gums. This reveals their paler, more natural color beneath. As a much less invasive procedure, patients who undergo laser gum bleaching enjoy a much shorter recovery time. They are able to go back to their normal routine almost immediately.
Aftercare Following Laser Gum Whitening
Although laser gum depigmentation is non-invasive, it is still essential for patients to follow their periodontist’s aftercare instructions. Thankfully, these instructions are very simple and easy to follow, and you will be back to your normal diet and routine in no time.
Are You a Good Candidate for Gum Bleaching?
If you have brown or black gums that you are not happy with, then you could be the perfect candidate for gum whitening. During your initial consultation, Dr. Newhart will assess the cause of your hyperpigmentation and will advise you on the best course of action. So long as you do not have particularly thin gum tissue, it is likely that you are a candidate for a gum-whitening.
Contact Dr. Newhart for Gum Whitening
Although gum-whitening may be non-invasive, it is still essential to have the procedure carried out by a qualified dental professional. Dr. Richart Newhart is a Periodontist (gum disease specialist) who has been serving the Mid-Ohio Valley since 1989.
Continually learning the very latest in periodontal treatment and technology, Dr. Newhart underwent additional training in laser periodontics, oral surgery, and low-level laser biostimulation so that he could pass on the benefits from these cutting edge procedures to his patients. Dr. Newhart has more than 30 years of experience treating all manner of gum diseases and cosmetic issues. He is more than qualified to conduct any gum-related procedure.
If you would like to have a consultation with Dr. Newhart to talk about gum bleaching, call or schedule an appointment online today.