Last updated date: 16-Jun-2023
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Anas Walid Shehada
Originally Written in English
Gum Bleaching (Gum Depigmentation)
Shiny, white teeth are frequently the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a dazzling, healthy-smile. However, healthy gums are a key, if not the most important, component of a good smile. A healthy smile has gum tissue that is naturally pink in color, fits tightly around the teeth without periodontal pockets, does not cover the teeth with excessive gum tissue creating a gummy smile, and has not deteriorated as a result of periodontal disease, meaning the gums have not worn away as is the case with gum recession.
Gum pigmentation is not a medical problem and is thus seen as a cosmetic operation performed to improve the looks of one's smile. Dark gums can influence many people's self-esteem and confidence when speaking and smiling.
What is Gum Bleaching?
Gum depigmentation, commonly known as gum bleaching, is a periodontal aesthetic operation that removes dark patches on the gums. Normal, healthy gum tissue is usually light pink in color. In the event of gum depigmentation, however, extremely high melanin levels can cause black spots and patches to form on the tissue. This discoloration can alter the look of your smile and cause many men and women to lose confidence and self-esteem.
Gum depigmentation, also known as gum lightening or gum bleaching, does not use bleach or lightening agents to obtain lighter gums. The name is derived from the concepts of teeth whitening and bleaching, which both refer to a procedure or substance used to brighten the teeth. Bleaching solutions and agents, on the other hand, are not suitable for use on the gums. To restore natural, pink gum tissue and improve patients' smiles, the dentist use innovative technology, effective, and least intrusive treatment approaches.
Gum Pigmentation Causes
Patches or black spots on the gums can be caused by excess melanin or long-term usage of certain drugs. Although this is not harmful to the patient's health, the patient may find it unappealing. People with darker complexion are more prone to melanin buildup on the gums. One of the advantages of gum bleaching is that it may assist to maintain your teeth appearing healthy and white since the lightening of the gums can make your teeth appear brighter.
Melanocytes (cells in the soft tissues responsible for creating melanin) are targeted by the laser during gum depigmentation. This indicates that their rate of melanin production is lowered. The gum whitening method is rapid and painless for the patient, and in most situations, the treatment may be finished in only one visit. This gives patients the option of leaving the procedure with pink, healthy-looking gums the same day. The technique eliminates gum depigmentation and helps the teeth seem healthy in the long-term.
Gum discoloration can also be caused by absorbed amalgam (silver) filling particles. Certain medications, as well as smoking, can cause gums to darken over time. You may have a picture-perfect smile with laser gum depigmentation treatments. It is not a replacement for regular dental hygiene, although it can assist in the removal of pigmentation. Maintaining a thorough teeth cleaning practice is essential for keeping your teeth healthy for as long as possible.
How to know when you have Dark gums?
Dark gums can be a sign of gum disease or other oral health issues. Symptoms of dark gums include discoloration, inflammation, bleeding, and receding gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to visit a dentist or periodontist for an evaluation. They may also recommend you to use some mouthwash or toothpaste specifically for gums.
How we treat Dark Gums?
Treatment for dark gums will depend on the underlying cause. Some common treatments include:
- Scaling and root planning: This is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. It is often used to treat gum disease.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed to help clear up an infection.
- Medicated mouthwash: Your dentist may recommend a medicated mouthwash to help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
- Gum surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove diseased tissue or to reshape the gums.
- Topical cream: Some creams can be applied to gums to help lighten the color over time.
- Laser therapy: laser therapy can be used to remove the pigmented cells and improve the color of the gums.
It's important to consult with a dentist or periodontist to determine the best treatment plan for your individual case.
How is the Gum Bleaching Process?
The process of laser gum bleaching typically involves the following steps:
- Consultation: Your dentist or periodontist will perform a thorough examination of your gums and discuss your medical history to determine if laser gum bleaching is the appropriate treatment for your case.
- Preparation: Before the procedure, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. You will be provided with protective goggles to wear during the procedure.
- Procedure: The laser is then directed at the gums, selectively targeting and breaking down the melanin (pigment) in the gums. The procedure typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour.
- Recovery: After the procedure, your gums may be swollen and tender. Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your gums to minimize the risk of complications and speed up recovery. You may also be prescribed pain medication and/or antibiotics to manage pain and prevent infection.
- Follow-up: Your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to check on the healing process and to evaluate the results.
It's important to note that laser gum bleaching is not a permanent solution, in some cases the pigmentation may return. Regular visits to the dentist and good oral hygiene will help to maintain the results.
What is Laser Gum Bleaching?
Laser gum bleaching, also known as laser gum depigmentation, is a procedure that uses a laser to remove the pigmented cells in the gums and improve the color. The laser energy is directed at the gums, selectively targeting and breaking down the melanin (pigment) in the gums. This can help to lighten the color of the gums and improve their appearance.
This procedure typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour and is done under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort. Recovery time is generally short and patients can return to normal activities right after the procedure.
It's important to note that laser gum bleaching is typically only recommended for people with dark gums due to overproduction of melanin, and is not effective for gums discolored due to other causes such as medications or trauma. Therefore, it is important to consult with a dentist or periodontist to determine if laser gum bleaching is the appropriate treatment for your individual case.
Laser Gum Bleaching Technique
There are several different techniques that can be used for laser gum bleaching, and the specific technique used will depend on the individual case and the type of laser being used. Some common techniques include:
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser: This type of laser uses a high-energy beam of light to target and remove the pigmented cells in the gums. It's considered to be one of the most effective techniques for laser gum bleaching.
- Erbium laser: This type of laser uses a lower energy beam of light, which can be less invasive and cause less discomfort than CO2 lasers. It's considered to be a gentler option for laser gum bleaching.
- Diode laser: This type of laser is also considered to be a gentler option than CO2 laser. It's a handheld device that emits a laser beam that removes the pigmented cells.
- Scalpel technique: It's a surgical method where the dentist uses a scalpel to remove the pigmented tissue. This method is considered to be more invasive and requires more healing time than laser techniques.
It's important to note that laser gum bleaching is a relatively new and evolving field, and new techniques and technologies are being developed all the time. It's always best to consult with a dentist or periodontist to determine which technique is the most appropriate for your individual case.
What are Gum Bleaching Products?
Gum bleaching products are typically topical creams, gels, or liquids that are applied to the gums to lighten their color. They may contain ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, or kojic acid which are known to lighten pigmentation. Some of these products are available over-the-counter, while others are only available through a dentist or periodontist.
It's important to note that the effectiveness of these products can vary and results may not be as dramatic as with laser gum bleaching. Additionally, these products may cause side effects such as sensitivity or irritation, so it's important to use them as directed and to discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur.
It's always best to consult with a dentist or periodontist before using any gum-bleaching products, to ensure that they are safe and appropriate for your individual case. They can also advise you on the best way to use the product and monitor your progress.
What are the Side Effects of Gum Bleaching?
Laser gum bleaching is generally considered a safe procedure, but like any medical procedure, there can be some potential side effects.
Common side effects of laser gum bleaching include: -Sensitivity or pain in the gums, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. -Swelling and redness of the gums, which is usually temporary. -Bleeding and infection, which can occur if proper care is not taken after the procedure.
Less common side effects include: -Scarring of the gums -Change in sensation of the gums -Damage to the surrounding tissue -Regrowth of pigmented cells
It's important to keep in mind that the side effects of laser gum bleaching are usually minor and temporary. Your dentist or periodontist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your gums following the procedure, to minimize the risk of complications and speed up recovery.
It's always best to consult with a dentist or periodontist to determine if laser gum bleaching is the appropriate treatment for your individual case. They can also discuss the potential risks and benefits, and help you make an informed decision.
How much does Gum Bleaching Cost?
The cost of gum bleaching can vary widely depending on the type of procedure and the location of the dental practice.
Laser gum bleaching can be quite expensive and it may cost between $500 to $3000. This cost can vary greatly depending on the area you live in and the technique used.
Topical gum bleaching products, such as gels or creams, can be less expensive than laser gum bleaching, with costs typically ranging from $20 to $100.
It's important to note that gum bleaching is generally not covered by dental insurance as it is considered to be a cosmetic procedure. Many dental offices offer financing options and payment plans to help make the procedure more affordable.
It's always best to consult with a dentist or periodontist to get an estimate of the cost for your individual case and to discuss financing options, if needed.
1. How do I know if I'm suffering from Gum Pigmentation?
Gum pigmentation appears differently in each case. Some people have microscopic dark spots on their gums, while others have large black or brown patches.
2. Aare dark gums a medical problem?
While pigmentation is not a medically threatening disease, many individuals find it unappealing. Gum depigmentation might assist you in achieving the healthy-looking smile you seek.
3. What will my gums look like after this periodontal surgery?
Most patients report that their gums are lighter and more constant in color after gum depigmentation, with no dark areas or patches.
4. What causes dark gums?
A lot of factors can lead to gum pigmentation include heredity, poor oral care and smoking. Although anybody can develop gum pigmentation, persons with darker complexion are more likely to have melanin accumulation. Certain medications might also cause gum pigmentation.
5. How Long Does Gum Bleaching Last For?
A single session of gum bleaching can occasionally last up to 20 – 25 years, and in some circumstances, a lifetime. However, each patient is unique and has unique needs that must be assessed individually. We take pride in offering our patients an affordable laser gum bleaching cost that produces the desired results.
We are confident that gum bleaching can help you, regardless of the extent of your discoloration. We will offer you with everything you need to enjoy your smile while limiting your suffering.
6. Is laser gum bleaching painful?
No, the process is minimally invasive and will cause no considerable pain. Because you will be given local anaesthetic before the operation, you will be numb while the dentist works on your mouth. This will numb your gums, preventing you from feeling discomfort while the dentist works on your mouth. After the treatment, you should expect some soreness and numbness, with the level of discomfort depending on how much of your gums had to be altered or removed.
Gum depigmentation is a safe and effective way of treating discolored gums. Whilst some people are not too concerned with the color of their gums, for others, it can be the ideal solution. Whether you feel having treatment is worth it or not is up to you, but we are here to help answer any questions you may have and assess your suitability if looking to proceed, providing superb results for those wanting to improve the overall aesthetic of their gums and smile.
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Anas Walid Shehada