If you’re not happy with the color of your gums, chances are that you’re not alone. Gingival depigmentation occurs when the cells in the surface layers of your gums die, leaving the area lighter or darker than the rest of your mouth. This can occur naturally as a result of aging, but it may also be caused by other factors such as poor dental hygiene or trauma to the gum tissue.
Cause #1: Medications:
Medications are a leading cause of gingival depigmentation. The most common culprits are tetracycline, which was once prescribed as an antibiotic but is now used as a treatment for acne and other skin conditions; minocycline, which is a type of antibiotic typically prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus; and doxycycline, an antibiotic that is often used to treat infections. A variety of other drugs may also lead to gum discoloration.
Cause #2: Poor Oral Hygiene:
Poor oral hygiene leads to plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that can accumulate on your teeth and gums. This plaque can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. It also causes bad breath, which may make you feel self-conscious about the way you look and smell in general. For these reasons, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits by brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once per day. Flossing removes the bacteria and food particles that brushing can’t reach. Brushing too hard or using too much pressure will irritate your gums and wear away the protective enamel layer of your teeth, so be gentle with your teeth!
Cause #3: Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy:
During pregnancy, hormones can make your gums more sensitive. This is because the hormone progesterone relaxes the tissues in your body, including those around your teeth. As a result of this increased sensitivity, some women may notice that their gums are getting redder or darker and becoming more prone to bleeding. The good news is that these changes will usually go away after delivery. If they don’t, you should contact your dentist for advice on how to manage them at home.
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Cause #4: Smoking:
Smoking causes gum disease. Smokers tend to have a higher incidence of receding gums. Tobacco stains the teeth and gums, which leads to an increase in plaque and tartar buildup. Smoking also reduces saliva production, which can lead to tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Cause #5: Sun Exposure:
The sun is the number one cause of gum discoloration. If you spend a lot of time outside during peak hours, your gums are at risk of getting darker and more splotchy. And when we talk about sun exposure, we’re not just talking about sunny days. The sun can still be out and shining brightly even on cloudy days! UV rays can penetrate clouds and hit your teeth or gums in the same way they do on sunny days.
If your gums are dark and splotchy, you may be interested in gingival depigmentation. This is a treatment that can lighten the color of your gums.
There are a few different ways to go about this process:
1) The dentist will place an anesthetic on the area, then use a laser or chemical agent to remove the pigment from the gum tissue. 2) Anesthetic will be used on the area and then it is covered with a paste that is bleached.
3) A whitening toothpaste may be applied directly onto teeth and gums for a lighter color. Your dentist can provide recommendations for which treatment may work best for you!
Some of the things that may cause gum depigmentation are: genetics, aging, chronic gum disease (gingivitis), and tooth whitening. These factors may darken or lighten the color of your gums. If you notice a change in the color of your teeth and gums, consult with your dentist. Other preventative measures include: brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for cleanings every six months.