The History of Dentistry

The History of Dentistry

Why Are Your Gums Black? Five Possible Explanations for a Black Spot on Your Gums

Regina Carlson

If you have noticed a black spot on your gums, there could be a number of explanations behind it. Wondering why your gums look that way? Here is a look at some of the possibilities:

1. Melanin

In some cases, a black spot on your gums could just mean that you have a bit more melanin in that area, just like the extra melanin that causes freckles on your skin. This could be because of genetics or related to overexposure to the sun. Black spots that are related to melanin do not appear inflamed or different from the surrounding gums, and they may appear in multiple areas of the gums. If your black spots are caused by melanin, you can opt to leave them alone or have them bleached by a cosmetic dentist.

2. Benign Lesion

If the black spot appeared suddenly and none of the teeth near it are experiencing any pain, it may be a benign lesion. Ideally, you should have it checked by a dentist. Then, you may want to have it cut out.

3. Medicine Side Effect

Unfortunately, some medications can also cause discolourations on your gums. These include blood pressure medications, immunosuppressants, oral birth control pills and some types of chemotherapy medication. If you are taking any of these medications, you should talk with your primary doctor about the side effects you are experiencing. You should also be sure to let your dentist know which type of medication you are on so that he or she can choose your treatment options accordingly. In addition, smoking can also cause this side effect.

4. Metal Crowns

If you have metal crowns, those may cause discolouration in some cases. This is similar to what happens when you wear an inexpensive metal ring and your skin becomes discoloured. If metal crowns are the culprit, you may want to talk with a dentist about replacing them with amagyms.

5. Gum Disease

In some cases, the discolouration may be related to severe gum disease, sometimes referred to as black gum disease. This happens when you have dead tissue in your mouth. If you experience a lot of pain near the black spot and bleeding when you brush, those are signs of gum disease. Additionally, if the gums appear to be receding away from your teeth, that is another indicator that you may have gum disease. The faster you treat it, the better -- contact an emergency dentist if you think you might have gum disease.


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About Me
The History of Dentistry

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!