Many people are unhappy with the appearance of their gums, which can sometimes be too dark in color. This condition, called hyperpigmentation, can cause unhappiness, but, fortunately, it can easily be treated, thanks to our new procedure, often called gum bleaching (though there’s no bleach or even any chemicals involved).
Are Your Gums Hyperpigmented?
It’s important to identify the true cause of dark gums before we start treatment.There are two common reasons why your gums might be dark in color: gum disease and hyperpigmentation.
During your consultation, we will evaluate your oral health, including the health of your gums to see if you have gum disease. Typically, gum disease causes your gums to turn red in color, and your gums may become puffy and may bleed. Gums may not hurt, even if they are infected. However, you might notice chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. If we do find gum disease, we will treat it, and then may proceed for gum bleaching.
However, if your gums are healthy but hyperpigmented, we might recommend gum bleaching.
You’re Not Really Going to Put Bleach on My Gums, Are You?
No, we’re not going to put bleach on your gums. Although the procedure is called gum bleaching (after teeth bleaching, another name for teeth whitening, which doesn’t involve bleach, either), it isn’t done with bleach.
Instead, the treatment uses lasers that target the dark-colored pigment in your gums called melanin. Melanin is the same pigment that makes your skin dark, and the procedure is similar to treatment of certain discolored moles and so-called liver spots. The laser hits the melanin and selectively heats it faster than the surrounding tissue, the way the sun will warm a black spot on your shirt faster than the light color surrounding it. The heat breaks up the melanin, but doesn’t harm your gums.
The procedure takes just one visit of about 30 minutes, though results might not be immediately visible–it takes time for the melanin to break down and be removed. You can return to your normal routine right after treatment, too.
We use a local anesthetic so you won’t experience any discomfort during the procedure. Once the anesthetic wears off, you might experience some minor discomfort. When we say minor, we mean it: most people don’t feel the need to take even over-the-counter pain medication as a result.
Are You Looking for Gum Bleaching in Rochester, NY?
Do dark, discolored gums make you unhappy with the appearance of your smile? If so, gum bleaching might be able to help.