EXCLUSIVE: Expert reveals the reasons behind dark gums and ways to treat them
Those dark or discoloured gums can be embarrassing for some. While many would even think that they are suffering from a disease. However, none of it is true. Melanin, as the dentists say, is responsible for the colour of your gums. The more the secretion, the darker your gums appear.
It is perfectly fine to have light or dark coloured gums as long as you don’t see any other problem with that.
“Americans have pink gums, while Africans on the other hand have darker gums, so you see, it depends on melanin secretion. Either of them is fine,” says Dr. Praveen Kumar, Head of the Dental Department, Fortis Hospital, Noida.
However, he points out, certain habits like smoking and tobacco consumption may also lead to dark gums. “We all know how harmful smoking and tobacco chewing is for our overall health, including our gums. Those who have any of the two habits may present with black gums. Also, genetics, too, has a part to play in determining the colour of your gums,” explains Kumar.
But, if you realise that your gums are suddenly turning dark, you may need to see a dentist at the earliest. “There is a tumour of gums called melanoma. This is a pathological condition and here you need to see your dentist. One of the few signs of melanoma can be if your gums have started changing colour from light to dark, suddenly,” Kumar tells you.
Kumar says while dark gums, usually, are not a problem, but those who are looking for a treatment can undergo gum scraping. “In this procedure, the dentist will scrape off the outer layer of your gums with the help of a scraper and the new layer that will grow will be lighter in colour naturally. The second treatment is ablation with a laser. The laser is used to remove the outer layer, making way for a new and healthier layer,” explains Kumar. He adds that both the processes are completely safe and are almost nearly permanent. There is no diet restriction after the procedures, one just has to limit or avoid coffee for a few days.
A piece of advice. “First, for all those who are in pursuit of healthy teeth and gums, it is a must that you visit your dentist every six months. This will save you from a whole lot of oral diseases. Second, one should avoid smoking and tobacco chewing at all costs. Third, in order to keep your gums healthy, massage them gently every day or, at least, thrice a week. One can use mustard oil to do that,” advises Kumar.
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