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What Does it Mean if I Have Dark or Black Gums?

Posted on 1/11/2021 by Edward I Jutkowitz, DMD, PC
What Does it Mean if I Have Dark or Black Gums?Just like there is a wide range of skin and eye colors present among people, gum color can also vary from one person to the next. Generally, healthy gums are pink, but if your gums have always been a darker shade and you have never had any accompanying oral health issues, the color of your gums is probably nothing to worry about. However, if your gums are suddenly darker in color or even black, there are several possible explanations.

Smoker's Melanosis

If you are a smoker, smoker's melanosis could be the reason behind your dark brown or black gums. The nicotine found in cigarettes and other tobacco products can cause your melanocyte cells to produce excess melanin, which results in darkened gums and sometimes lips and cheeks as well. Smoker's melanosis may be reversible if you quit using tobacco products completely.

Addison's Disease

Addison's disease affects your adrenal glands, which regulate hormones. In addition to fatigue, weight loss, excessive thirst, and muscle weakness, Addison's disease can also cause hyperpigmentation of the gums, lips, and skin. Addison's disease is treated through the use of steroids and hormone replacement therapy.

Certain Medications

Some medications can discolor your gums and other parts of your mouth as a side effect. One example of a medication that sometimes results in darkened gums is minocycline, an antibiotic used for treating chlamydia, urinary tract infections, and acne. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication for you to take if your medication is discoloring your gums.

Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a complication of gingivitis, or early gum disease. Sometimes known as “trench mouth,” acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis occurs when dead tissue accumulates on top of the gums, which can make your gums appear grey or black. This condition also causes a fever, bad breath, and gum pain. Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis can be treated with a professional deep cleaning combined with antibiotics or prescription mouthwash.

This is not a complete list of possible explanations for dark or black gums, and we will need to perform an oral exam in order to determine the cause and treatment for your unique case. Call our office today if you have gum discoloration.
Roslyn Heights
70 Glen Cove Rd, Roslyn Heights,
NY 11576
Phone: (516) 240-9072
Fax: 516-621-9409

133 East 58th St, Ste 803,
Manhattan, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 235-1181
Fax: 646-735-1843

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Edward I Jutkowitz, DMD, PC, 70 Glen Cove Rd, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577, (516) 240-9072,, 6/23/2022, Related Terms: dental implants Roslyn Heights NY,