Q:

Why are my gums in my mouth black?

A:

Quick Answer

Black gums can be caused by sun exposure, periodontal disease, heredity, gingivitis, smoking, crowns or fillings containing metal, minocycline or tricyclic antidepressants, according to HowStuffWorks. It is important to visit a dentist to diagnose the actual cause of black gums and determine a proper treatment plan.

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Full Answer

People born to parents with dark complexions are likely to have higher amounts of melanin in their skin, which is also evident in the color of their gums, explains HowStuffWorks. Prolonged sun exposure is also capable of turning pink gums a darker shade.

Serious conditions such as acute necrotizing periodontal disease or acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis cause black gums and are accompanied by a significant amount of pain, foul breath and bleeding, according to HowStuffWorks. These cases require immediate care by a dentist and should not be left untreated.

It is possible in some cases for people who are insecure about the color of their gums to undergo a dental procedure to have the top layer of dark tissue removed, revealing pink gums underneath. It is normal for a percentage of the dark pigmentation to reappear after the surgery, but the gums remain an overall lighter shade than before, according to HowStuffWorks. It is also possible to undergo a painless in-office bleaching treatment at a dental facility to permanently reduce the amount of melanin present in the gums.

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