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Gum Diseases

Black spot on gums

01/16/2007

Question:

I have two black spots on the front top gum. Am I over reacting with the thought of the rare but deadly(?) melanoma in the mouth? Also I do have a small child and can remember him scratching my gums once with his infant fingernails. What other symptoms should I look for in cancer of the gums? Thankyou for your time!

Answer:

Black spots can be signs of different things. If you are an African-American, it may be just a physiological phenomena that you did not notice before. Trauma may also induce whatever you had pigmentation wise.  Generally what we do is follow-up these spots for certain time. We take a history, look, and try to define the lesion (flat versus raised, the size etc). Most importantly we watch and try to determine whether they are getting bigger in size. Its location compared to gingival margin is also important.

Thus, if you still have them, I recommend you seeing a dentist. He/she will try to differentiate the lesions and figure out whether a biopsy is necessary or not.

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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