Gum disease

What Causes Black Gum Lines

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. May 10, 2017
What Causes Black Gum Lines

We all know that a great smile is one of the best cover letters we have. We often focus our attention on the alignment and coloring of the teeth: they may be perfectly straight and healthy, but many people overlook the health of their gums.

Gums cover and protect our teeth, so healthy and strong gums translate into healthy and strong teeth too. Usually, gums should be a pale pink color, although depending on the person they may adopt other shades. Black gums, on the other hand, can be a totally normal condition or a health problem. At oneHOWTO we will explain what causes black gum lines and in what cases you should worry.

You may also be interested in: There Are Black Spots on My Tongue
  1. Black gums: melanoplakia
  2. Black gums due to melanoma
  3. Scaling and black gums
  4. Black gum lines due to smoking
  5. Black gums and amalgamation
  6. Dental crowns and black gum lines
  7. Black gums due to medication

Black gums: melanoplakia

Melanin is a substance that is found in different areas of our body and that is responsible for giving and determining its color. Whether in the hair, the skin or the iris, melanin is the pigment that will determine whether it is dark or light.We can also find melanin in gums, in fact, when it accumulates there, it causes dark spots that are known as melanoplasty or physiological melanosis.

This is a normal condition, which does not cause any inconvenience to the health of the person and is quite common among people with dark skin. In these people it may even be the case that the entire gingiva becomes dark. Since it is not any disease, it is not advisable to carry out any treatment. However, if the patient wishes to do it for aesthetic reasons he may opt for dermabrasion or other such techniques like gum grafting or laser therapy.

Black gums due to melanoma

Although, as we have just seen, melanin is a type of natural pigmentation in our body and though it can accumulate benign sometimes there are alterations that can pose certain health risks. This substance is produced in melanocytes, cells located in the skin and mucous membranes. Like all cells in the body, they can also be altered by some genetic mutation, causing them to reproduce in an uncontrolled way and provoke a type of cancer we know as melanoma. This disease can be noticed through black lesions protruding and covering variable extensions of the gingiva.

Once the melanoma is discovered in the person's gum, the medical team will proceed to remove it and analyze it to determine what kind it is. Depending on the case, treatment should continue with chemotherapy and radiotherapy to remove any traces of malignant cells.

For more information, take a look at our article on 4 simple ways to recognize a melanoma.

What Causes Black Gum Lines - Black gums due to melanoma

Scaling and black gums

Plaque, tartar or calculus are deposits of calcification that remain on the surface of the teeth because of a deficient dental hygiene. This can build up in different colors, from white to green, to brown or black. Many times, tartar begins to form on the dental surface under the gum, so if it is dark in color, it can translate through the gum and make it appear dark or black.

If the person performs a professional dental cleaning, getting rid of accumulated tartar on the surface of the teeth by scaling or root planing, your black gum lines should immediately return to normal.

In this article, we explain how to clean teeth plaque at home.

What Causes Black Gum Lines - Scaling and black gums

Black gum lines due to smoking

Smoking is a disastrous habit. By now everyone knows the harmful consequences that smoking causes throughout the body. But you will not feel the consequences fo tobacco in the circulatory and respiratory system, but in the color of your gums too.

Nicotine stimulates the production of melanin, which causes black gum lines similar to those caused by malenoplasty. If you quit smoking, you can lighten those areas, but it is likely that the damage is irreversible and that the only way to permanently end this aesthetic problem is to undergo microdermabrasion to eliminate the consequences of tobacco on your gums.

What Causes Black Gum Lines - Black gum lines due to smoking

Black gums and amalgamation

Amalgam coloration is another cause of black or black gum lines. Also known as focal argyrosis, this is a condition of the gum caused by direct contact with an amalgam dental restoration. Residues of this substance, in contact with the gum, may stain it in a gray, blue or dark tone.

The material used for these treatments are completely harmless, so there is no complication beyond the coloring of your gum. In any case, a biopsy is usually recommended to analyze the gum to get rid of any other alterations such as melanoma.

What Causes Black Gum Lines - Black gums and amalgamation

Dental crowns and black gum lines

The application of crowns to fix dental prostheses is another of the dental treatments that can create a black gum line. These crowns have an inner part made of metal, which has a dark color, and an outer part made of ceramic, which light colored. The final area of the crown is placed below the gum, so that it is hidden. However, if the person has very fine or very light colored gums, it may be that the metal is showing through them and therefore looks black.

This is why many people choose to use other materials rather than dark metal, zirconium is one example that prevents unsightly black gums.

Black gums due to medication

The consumption of certain medicines causes alterations and changes in our organism that can appear in the form of black gum lines. Here are some of the most common:

  • Birth control pills
  • Tricyclic antidepressant medications
  • Minocycline
  • Anticonvulsants

Although, in general, they do not pose any complication or problem for our health, these aesthetic alterations can be annoying for the person suffering from them. In that case you should discuss it with your doctor, who will tell you what the best treatment is to get the natural color of your gums back.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Causes Black Gum Lines, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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What Causes Black Gum Lines