Q:

What is a black dot on my gums?

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Quick Answer

Black dots on the gums are caused by a variety of dental conditions, including bruising, pigmentation, plaque, tattooing caused by amalgam (silver) fillings and, rarely, a form of oral cancer, states Christopher Jacoby at HealthGuidance. Oftentimes, one black dot on the gums is no reason for concern.

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Full Answer

The fleshy parts of the gums are prone to bruising just like all human skin tissue, and these bruises often appear much darker than expected. Hyperpigmentation is also a common cause for black spots, a trait that is inherited genetically and can be treated with cosmetic lasers if the patient wishes. Hardened plaque or tartar can present as a dark spot along the gumline, and Jacoby advises that this issue is easily remedied with regular dental hygiene.

Those with amalgam fillings may notice a dark spot near a tooth with a silver filling. In some cases, silver particles released in the drilling process embed in the gum's soft tissues, causing a dark spot to form, Jacoby says. These tattoos are normally benign, but they can also be removed upon request. Rarely, malignant melanoma, or skin cancer, can sometimes present as a black spot on the gums, but this is highly unlikely in nonsmokers.

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