Dark gums, how can we change their appearance?

Dark or black gums: what are they caused by?

Many patients consult us in the dental clinic because they have noticed a dark purple colour on their gums. This is known as gingival melanosis. 

Gingival melanosis - known as gingival melanosis or dark gums- is due to an abnormal or excessive accumulation of melanocytes in the gums. It is not a disease per se, so it does not pose any health problems, but it does worry patients for aesthetic reasons. 

The natural colour of healthy gums is a pale pink. A more reddish appearance of the gums may be a symptom of gingivitis or periodontitis - relatively severe gum disease - and a whitish coating on top may be a sign of a fungal infection or an oozing gum infection. 

Why do these dark spots appear on our gums? These are some of the possible causes:


Some ethnic groups are more prone to gingival melanosis. The colour of the gums is not exactly the same in all human beings, just as it is not the same in skin or hair.


Smoking is a habit closely related to periodontal disease (among many other health problems), the main cause of early tooth loss. The harmful substances contained in tobacco smoke also have a serious effect on the aesthetics of our mouth, causing the teeth to take on the characteristic yellowish hue of smokers and the gums to turn dark. 

Silver amalgam

Silver amalgam is the material with which fillings were made in the past. Although it is no longer in use today, there are still many patients who have this type of 'metal filling'. This material is made of an alloy of metals, which in the long term can cause what are known as 'amalgam tattoos', i.e. dark spots on the gums. 

Some medicines

Some drugs such as oral contraceptives, certain types of antidepressants or anticonvulsants include among their side effects the production of stains on our teeth and gums. 

How to treat black gums

Fortunately, there are various types of treatments that allow us to mitigate or even eliminate these stains from our gums. They all work in much the same way: by eliminating the most superficial layers of the gum, which are the ones that show this discolouration. 


This technique uses specific instruments to remove the black pigments in the most superficial layers of the gum. 

Scalpel and electrosurgical scalpel

By means of a gingivectomy (bonding), the most superficial part of the gingiva, which is stained dark, is removed in the form of a slice. The electroscalpel has the advantage over its analogue in that it minimises the patient's bleeding during the procedure. 


It is, like electroscalpel, a less invasive way of performing the treatment with minimal bleeding.

Do you suffer from this problem?

If you have this problem, in the dental clinic Vélez y Lozano we can help you. Contact us for more information and we will give you an appointment to advise you on your options. You can do this by Whatsapp on 641 60 88 88 32 or by phone on 968 28 46 46 28. 

If you wish, you can also request an online assessment thanks to our service of online consultation