What Is a Black Dot on My Gums?

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.

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.