9 Causes of Darkening Gums, and How to Deal with It

When feeling happy, someone will automatically smile and a smile can not only be affected by the shape, color, and position of the teeth, but some people see the gums when one’s smiling. A beautiful smile certainly include a healthy looking gums. 

Causes of Darkening Gums

Healthy gums are easy to spot, they are red in color, but when the gums are dark it will definitely give the impression of being unhealthy. What exactly causes the gums to become dark?

  1. Smoking Habit

Besides being a habit that is totally unhealthy, because it can be a trigger lung diseases. Not to mention the unwanted effects of smoking for the skin, the dangerous effects of smoking on teeth, darkened lips, and a less impressive appearance to your smile. 

Dark gums can occur if you have a smoking habit, especially if you smoke frequently and already become a habit for a very long time. Just compare the gums of those who are not tobacco consumers and tobacco consumers because they are definitely different; the gums of tobacco consumers will appear darker because of the chemicals present in cigarettes/tobacco itself.

2. Metal Material in Dental Fillings

Maybe you’ve patched your teeth and know very well about the type and procedure of dental cavities; You should know that the material used in the world of dentistry, especially the basic ingredients of heavy metal in the oral cavity, such as silver, mercury, arsenic and bismuth can be absorbed by the gums systemically. This is what makes the color of the gums which normally red turn darker. Even the soft tissue around it also changes.

If you notice that there is something different about your gums, like the bluish color along the edge of the gum and the black line, this is the coloring feature as a result of the heavy metal factor. 

If the condition you are experiencing is a black line limited to only near the fixed gums and also the gums between the teeth, this also indicates that the fillings are the trigger factor. The black color of the gums may be considered physiological, but there is no harm if you do a gum examination by consulting the dentist to get the right treatment.

3. Systemic Factors

Systemic disease is quite a lot and on average can be a trigger of the gums that change color. The darker color of your gums may be due to a systemic disease in which pigmentation by melanin, iron, or bilirubin can affect it. 

The properties possessed by pigmentation due to melanin are actually physiological or are reasonable and are strongly related to ethnic or ethnic groups. 


While diseases that can increase the risk of melanin pigmentation include the following:

  • Von Recklinghausen’s disease or also called neurofibromatosis and Albright’s syndrome or polyostotic fibrous dysplasia are the factors that cause the mouth to experience melanin pigmentation and this is also found in the gums.
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is a disease or condition that causes melanin pigmentation in the mucosa of the mouth and lips.
  • Addison’s disease is a disease that is quite popular where this condition appears as a result of adrenal gland dysfunction. The discoloration of the gums that occurs due to this disease is quite diverse because it creates a color ranging from bluish black to brownish black.

4. Certain Medicines

Taking drugs is not always safe because there are some side effects that can be caused by certain drugs. Besides certain drugs can be harmful to organs in the body, the gum is also threatened. 

The drugs referred to here including tricyclic antidepressant drugs, antimalarial agents, and also Minocycline; all three if consumed can make the gums appear darker.

5. Inflammation in The Mouth

Sometimes inflammation that occurs in the mouth is unavoidable. In addition to impacting bad breath, usually the gums will also change color. 

However, if you experience bleeding, you should seek more information about the causes and treatment of gum bleeding. It’s important because usually gum bleeding indicates the existence of an inflammation and redness. The best solution is to immediately see a dentist because all of these will be able to make the gums darker and appear unpleasant.

6. Unmaintained Oral Hygiene

Pigmentation or discoloration of the gums certainly will not make your smile attractive, and this can happen because you are likely not to maintain oral hygiene. 

How often do you clean your mouth and teeth? Maybe this is what you need to try to improve. Try to clean your mouth, including the gums and teeth more regularly so that the part is always healthy.

7. Lack of Nutrition Intake

Eating foods without essential nutrients for the body can also be a trigger for a darker gum. The black or brownish color of the gums shows that there is no freshness where you can try to eat lots of nutritious foods to add nutrients that your body needs, including your gums and teeth.

Adequate nutrition will always keep you healthy not only for your internal organs, but also for the oral area.

8. Drinking Alcoholic Beverages

Liquors or drinks with high alcohol content are one example of non-nutritious beverages. The habit of drinking liquor is also very unhealthy and not good for the body.

Not to mention the effects of alcohol on our skin. One other bad effects given by this type of beverages is the change in color of the gums. This will be even worse when you have the habit of drinking alcohol and smoking at the same time.

9. Exposure to Sunlight

For those of you who have activities that are mostly outdoors, especially often exposed to sunlight, there is a greater risk for the gums to turn dark. You might then wonder why the gums can darken due to exposure to sunlight because the gum is actually inside the mouth. Not only our skin can darken due to exposure to sunlight, but it can also gum.

How to Deal With Dark Gum Naturally

Black gum, as long as it is not a complication and there are no other dangerous diseases, can be handled by yourself at home by changing your lifestyle and to always prioritizes cleanliness and oral health. 

The following are simple steps of how to maintain healthy gums you can try:

  1. Brushing your teeth in the right way and frequency, such as two to three times a day will help to keep the teeth, gums and even the whole mouth hygienic.
  2. Regular gargling with liquid mouthwash that is widely available will also keep the mouth area clean and far more hygienic. But some people are concern with the dangers of using too much mouthwash, so if you don’t want to use a mouthwash, which risk is drier mouth, salt water can be the best alternative. Gargle with salt water at least twice a day to kill bacteria.
  3. Underwent regular cleanup by seeing a trusted dentist.
  4. Stay away from the sun, its exposure can directly make the skin and gum part darken. If you can’t avoid it by staying in the room because it is your activity that requires you to be outdoors, wear accessories that help protect the upper part of your body, plus your head.
  5. Run a diet program where this diet increases vitamin intake in the body along with minerals and other important nutrients. More intake of vitamins C and B will help restore gum health. Food sources containing both of these vitamins will make the gums that were once dark will gradually turn into fresh pink.
  6. Quitting smoking is the best way when the black gum has something to do with cigarettes. Or if you like to chew tobacco, stop this habit too so that the gums can be saved and change back to it’s normal color.
  7. Use clove oil which can be applied regularly to the part of the darkened gun. When doing it without interruption and regularity, guaranteed the surface of the darkened gum will return pink.

How to Overcome Dark Gum with Surgery

When dark gums can no longer be overcome by simple yet natural ingredients and also changes in a cleaner and more hygienic lifestyle, surgery is the best solution. 

Here is some information about the surgical method to make your gum get it’s original color easily.

  • The surgical removal of the darkened gum outer layer is known to be one of the most popular surgical procedure, simple and even effective methods so that the gum’s darker color can be removed and the color returns to normal.
  • Hearing about surgery process does look terrible and many people think this will hurt. But the patients don’t need to worry about the pain because the dentist will use local anesthesia so it won’t hurt.
  • In this surgical procedure, the dentist removes the outer layer of the epithelial gum along with the connective tissue layer at the base. After the tissue is removed, you just have to wait for it to recover, the new epithelium will automatically form and no more dark gum.
  • In no longer than 2 days, you will be able to see the positive results. It is known that 20-30% of normal pigmentation will return after 5-6 months and if anything happens, immediately contact the dentist.

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