Sometimes gums look blackish or brownish due to excessive pigmentation. This can be corrected with a minor surgical procedure which involves stripping off the superficial layer of the gums and allowing healing with secondary intention, resulting in healthy pink and evenly coloured gums.
The gums ideally encircle the neck of the teeth in a half moon shape. If this shape is distorted it gives a very unpleasant and abnormal appearance. This condition can be corrected with a procedure called gingivoplasty which is nothing but shaping and contouring of the gums giving a more natural and younger look to the gums.
It is ideally recommended for those patients where-
- Gums are tender, swollen, infected, bleed easily while brushing.
- Tartar is accumulated due to unhealthy eating habits leading to a common complaint of patients that is bad breath.
- Gums are seen more than a tooth resulting in a gummy smile.
- Gums are having blackish, greyish or brownish tinge due to tobacco or any other smoking habit.
A detailed consultation should be done with the dentist to understand the relation of gums and teeth. It is co - related. Overall status of gums will directly affect tooth's status and overall health. Clinical examination done by dentist and most preferably by any Periodontist or Oral Surgeon can recommend your treatment.
If you are going for a gummy smile treatment or any other gum related treatments don't forget to ask your periodontist or oral surgeon for His/ Her qualifications and experience in the field of gum treatments. Your periodontist or oral surgeon can also show you before and after images of cases similar to yours, for you to get a better understanding of the final outcome and quality of work. Professional cleaning of teeth should be done to prevent gum disease and to proceed further.
The procedure usually requires only one office visit. But two or three sessions can be required varying from case to case. The dentist will use an ultrasonic scaler tip in all the areas where brush can't reach and because of its vibration the tartar and stains will be removed. Polishing is done to get a sparkle in your teeth after cleaning is done.
Gummy smile is treated by doing a gum surgery which is usually done by a periodontist or an oral surgeon. Crown lengthening is a procedure which is done. This surgical sculpting procedure can be performed on one or more teeth to create an even gum line or a more natural looking smile.
For treating dark gums like black or brownish or greyish tinge there are two procedures which can be considered.
1. Gum surgery - most popular and simple method of removing the outer layer of the gums which gives dark colour to the gums. It is a painless outdoor procedure carried out under local anaesthesia. In this procedure the outer layer of gum epithelium is removed with a layer of underlying connective tissue. The new epithelium which is formed is devoid of dark pigmentation. The positive results can be seen within 1 - 2 days. After this procedure 20 -30 % of the pigmentation returns after 5 -6 months and then stays as such. This surgical procedure can be repeated again if the gums become dark and look bad.
2. Gum Depigmentation - another method to treat the dark pigmentation of gums. It is done using the lasers as the water lease system. Erbium: YAG is a safe and efficient treatment. It causes alteration of the melanin pigment in gingival tissues and produces aesthetic pink gums. It is quick, painless, less time consuming and gives good results. It is done in a single visit. The results are permanent as melanin pigment which is the cause of the dark gums does not come back. Gums need to be healthy then only gum depigmentation can be done. If a person has signs of unhealthy gums like bleeding, swelling or inflammation then first of all before procedure the underlying infection has to be treated and if a person is a smoker he / she has to quit smoking prior to the procedure.
- Procedure depends upon the extent, type and depth of discoloration.
- It is done under local anaesthesia.
- It is done by using the lasers.
- In cases where discoloration is not very deep no surgery is required but in some cases minor surgery is required.
- Healing is very quick and patient does not feel any discomfort afterwards.
Post treatment care totally depends on the procedure which is required in your case.
After cleaning of teeth:-
- Avoid any food / drinks that would leave a stain on teeth.
- No smoking.
- Use an anti-sensitive tooth paste for a few if you experience sensitivity due to the procedure.
- No pan masala or tobacco in any form which blackens your gums.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months. If you are more prone to gum disease 2 months visit can also be done to do a cleaning of teeth and to know the status of your mouth.
After gum surgery:-
- Dressing is done to protect the surgical site. Remove the dressing after 45 minutes - 1 hour.
- Do not eat anything until the anaesthesia wears off as you might bite your lips, cheek or tongue and cause damage.
- Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent or minimize the infection and analgesics or painkillers for controlling the discomfort.
- Apply an ice pack from outside after the procedure to aid in the healing process.
- Maintain your oral hygiene by regular brushing and flossing. Lightly brush on the biting surfaces of the teeth where there is dressing.
- Avoid spicy foods, nuts, popcorn, smoking, tobacco etc.
- Don't spit out for a day.
- Chew on the opposite side and do not bite into the food if the procedure was done in the front of the mouth.
- Eat soft foods like soups, pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes etc.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- After 24 hours, rinse with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of salt mixed with 1 glass of warm water.
- Vigorous rinsing with mouth wash should be avoided.
- Do not play with the surgery area with your fingers or tongue.
- Do not use a drinking straw as the suction may dislodge the blood clot.
- Visit your dentist to change the dressing every 2 days for 7-14 days.
After gum Depigmentation:-
- There is no special post operative care after gum depigmentation. Maintaining oral hygiene is the utmost factor to prevent gum disease.
- Avoid smoking.
- Maintain oral hygiene by regular brushing twice a day and flossing.
- Visit your dentist every 3 - 6 months.
- Eat healthy foods like green vegetables, fruits and dairy products like milk, cheese.
- Drink plenty of water before and after meals so the unwanted food particles are flushed out.
- Limit the consumption of acidic foods and beverages like tea, coffee, fizzy drinks.
- Limit the consumption of sticky foods like pizza, candies, chocolates etc.
- Avoid biting finger nails, pen's cap, pencils etc and avoid using your teeth to open bottles or to tear packets.
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