Most Singaporeans will try to achieve a perfectly white set of teeth in order to improve their smile, and if you are blessed with perfectly pink gums, then your smile is complete.
However, for some Singaporeans, they find that their dark gums are a problem.
They see themselves in photos with a great set of teeth but their black gums hamper a complete smile.
Is this an urgent problem?
Black gums is generally not a health risk
Your gum’s colour comes from cells like melanin, carotene and haemoglobin. The first two being pigments and the last being red blood cells.
Almost all of us have pigments on our gums.
In other words, your gum’s colour can be a natural phenomenon in the same way people have different skin tones.
And just in the same way some people tend to have darker skin, some people tend to have darker gums. Specifically, Asian, African and Mediterranean people may have higher pigment activity which also results in darker gums.
In this respect, black gums are not related to any health issue so you won’t need to worry about your gums presenting a physical health concern.
When is black gums a concern?
Having darker gums can be a health concern, both in terms of mental health and physical health.
Darker gums might be a sign that you have an underlying condition or habit that is causing the symptoms.
For most people, the biggest concern with dark gums lies in their concern about how they look and their self-confidence. So let’s examine that first.
When it affects your self-esteem, confidence and happiness
Every time you look at yourself in photos, do you feel a sense of confidence and happiness?
The main reason why Singaporeans get teeth whitening treatment is the same reason why people get their gums whitened.
Feeling good about how you look and feeling confident about your smile helps people feel more confident and happy.
Feeling confident helps people do better in their career, relationships and other interpersonal interactions.
Darker gums can cause people to feel a sense of worry every time they smile and harm their self-esteem. It can hamper their ability to express themselves fully.
This represents a psychological concern and it’s worth considering whether gum bleaching can help you overcome these issues.
When you have poor oral hygiene
If you reviewed your photos and noticed that your gums are getting darker over the years, it might be a sign of poor oral hygiene.
The reason why we need to brush twice daily is because we want to get rid of plaque and tartar.
However, brushing with the right technique is also very important. For one, a lot of the tartar and plaque that collects where the gums and teeth intersect are generally difficult to clean without proper technique.
Furthermore, Singaporeans who enjoy drinking sugary drinks like bubble tea or dessert like ice kacang can see a higher rate of deterioration.
For this reason, your gums may be getting darker because of habits. Our dentists can advise on how you can maintain better habits and how you can reduce or reverse the darkening of your gums.
Every time you smoke a cigarette, you trigger the darkening of gums.
This phenomenon is called smoker’s melanosis – a process where the nicotine causes an increase in melanin production.
Not only does this affect your gums, this can also affect your cheeks and lips. It can appear as patches or a general darkening of any pinkish area.
Quitting smoking today might help reverse your gum discolouration. However, just as the darkening of your gums is a slow and pernicious process, the discolouration is not guaranteed and might take a very long time.
Your dentist can advise of a faster way of reversing your gum discolouration.
Some diseases can cause your gums to darken. While not an exhaustive list, here are two diseases to look out for:
Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a gum infection which causes pain, bleeding, bad breath and black gums.
The black gums are caused by the infection of the gum which causes a layer of dead tissue to build up over the gums.
Its causes are poor oral hygiene, poor lifestyle habits (stress and lack of rest) or a poor diet.
This is reversible and our dentists can treat it.
Addison’s disease is an uncommon disease that causes your body to not produce enough hormones.
As the disease progresses, this can cause people to experience darkened gums and lips.
Your family doctor or our dentists can diagnose this.
We prefer laser gum whitening. Here’s why.
There are many techniques that dentists use to lighten gums including scalpel, radiosurgery, gum graft, abrasion, chemical and laser.
At Gentle Smiles Dental Studio, we whiten gums with lasers. Here’s why.
Laser gum whitening is a treatment that uses a dental laser that helps achieve a lighter-toned, pinkish appearance on the gums.
Laser is one of the best ways to achieve lighter gums quickly and painlessly.
Treatment timelines: one-day
A typical treatment at our clinic would take 30 to 90 minutes, depending on how many areas need to be treated.
If you just need to treat a few spots, it will be very quick. However, if you want to lighten every area, it will be more involved.
Treatment is generally done one a single day and the results are instantaneous. It’s very rare to need a follow up.
The best part is that the results are instantly perceivable, the process is painless and the treatment can last many years as long as you follow up with good oral hygiene.
The costs are $250 to $2100 depending on the severity and extent of the black gum.
We’re here to help
At Gentle Smiles Dental Studio, we have helped many of our customers achieve greater confidence and happiness when they smile and pose for photos.
Gum whitening is among the many ways that we help our customers achieve this. It all starts with booking an appointment with us.