Could Ethnic Pigmentation Be Causing Your Gum Bleeding?

If you’ve been struggling with persistent gum bleeding, it may be due to ethnic pigmentation in your gums. There’s nothing to worry about because gum bleaching could solve your problem in just one sitting! But, let’s backtrack a bit and talk about what’s really going on here…

What Exactly Is Gum Pigmentation?

Many people notice dark patches on their gums when they brush and floss, but what exactly is gum pigmentation and how can you get rid of it? One type of gum discoloration occurs as a result of a natural ethnic pigment called melanin. Melanin doesn’t just determine skin color (although if you’re very fair-skinned, there’s a good chance that your natural pigmentation causes some gum discoloration). It also causes blood vessels to appear near the surface of your skin (which gives your skin a pink tone) and it allows your body to absorb more Vitamin D from sunlight.

Why Does This Happen?

Ethnic pigmentation, also known as gum hyperpigmentation or gum melanin, is a common cause of gum bleeding. It occurs when too many melanocytes (cells that create melanin) are located in the gums, causing them to become brown or black. The increased amount of melanin can cause minor gum bleeding, but some patients have extreme cases and their gums bleed excessively while they brush or floss. Ethnic pigmentation doesn’t affect your overall health, but it may make you feel self-conscious about your smile.

How Is It Treated?

The best treatment for gum bleeding that is caused by ethnic pigmentation is really just to ignore it. As I mentioned before, using lasers to remove these pigments will only lead to more problems. The next step would be bleaching; however, like with laser treatment, bleaching can cause lasting tissue damage and should also not be used as a treatment method. If you insist on doing something about it, consider rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide after brushing your teeth a few times per week. The mild bleaching agent will help reduce pigmentation and treat your gum bleeding quickly and effectively.

What Can I Do At Home?

If you want to get rid of your gum bleaching problem without having to spend money on a trip to your dentist, all you need is some hydrogen peroxide. First, brush and floss as much as you can before you start. Once that’s done, mix up a 3% solution with a bit of water (the concentration isn’t important; just make it roughly 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 10 parts water). Apply it directly to your gums — there are no special instructions regarding which areas specifically so go ahead and brush or spray them all — and let it sit for about five minutes.

Can We Prevent This From Happening Again?

While some gum pigmentation can come from tooth grinding, a lot of it is genetic. So, even if you never bite down on your lip or teeth, gum bleaching might still happen. The most reliable way to prevent gum bleaching is to visit our office for regular dental cleanings. With dental sealants and fluoride treatments, we can ward off much of your risk of gum bleaching. If that doesn’t work out for you – please do yourself a favor and invest in whitening strips; they will save you lots of hassle in the long run!


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