Laser Gum Depigmentation
The most common cause of darker pigments in the gums is genetics. Excess melanin can build up in the gums, making them look brown or black instead of pink. This is more common in certain ethnic groups like people with African or Eastern ancestry. The extra pigment does not indicate any disease or dysfunction.
Patients seek treatment because of an aesthetic preference for pink gums that showcase their teeth better.
Other causes for dark gums include smoking, side effects from certain medications and possible effect of amalgam fillings on the gum.
The treatment process
Laser Gum Depigmentation vaporizes and removes a thin top layer of the gum tissue, destroying the cells that produce melanin. As new tissue is created during healing, it tends to be pink rather than brown. The treatment may require a local anesthetic injection and has a short recovery time with manageable discomfort. Sometime depending on the colour and depth of the dark patch, it could take several sessions to achieve the desired degree of lightening.
Who Is a Candidate?
The main guideline is simply that the gums must be healthy. We can assess your gum health at the free consultation that you have with our dentist.
This cosmetic treatment is not suitable for:
- Patients with oral disease
- Patients with dark gums caused by periodontal disease (this is not a surface pigment problem)
- Patients taking blood thinners (these can cause excessive bleeding during treatment)
- Patients with thin gum tissue or prominent tooth roots (they may experience ongoing sensitivity if roots are accidentally exposed by the removal of gum tissue)