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Gum Diseases

Gum disease

08/17/2006

Question:

What causes your gums to turn black and is there any way you can repair your gums to the correct color.

Answer:

There may be several different reasons for color changes on gums. 

1- Can be physiological.  If you are African-American, you generally have more pigmentation on your gums, and it will appear dark.

2- It can be a contamination from an amalgam restoration etc (mercury from amalgam diffuses into soft tissue).

3- It may be also a sign of a pathological changes at the cell level, and cells involved in pigmentation (melanocytes) may be involved.

You need to visit a dentist to differentiate the possible changes causing color changes. If it is not a pathological change, we generally graft the area with the soft tissue obtained from roof of the mouth.  This may help to eliminate darker color.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University