Q:

Why do I have black spots on my gums?

A:

Black spots on the gums can occur as a result of bruising, hyper-pigmentation, amalgam tattoos or hardened plaque, according to HealthGuidance. Although black spots on the gums are typically only a cosmetic concern, in very rare cases they can be a symptom of oral malignant melanoma, the worst type of skin cancer.

As the gums are darker than other areas of the body, bruises that appear there are darker as well, explains HealthGuidance. Small black bruises on the gums sometimes occur as a result of impact to the mouth or over-aggressive brushing.

More common in people with dark complexions, an excess amount of pigment can cause black spots throughout the gums. These genetically inherited discolorations are completely harmless, but if a person finds them cosmetically unattractive, the spots can be removed with laser treatments, according to HealthGuidance.

In some instances, hardened plaque, or tartar, can attach to the gums and cause discolorations, states HealthGuidance. A dentist can remove discolorations caused by plaque. Practicing good dental hygiene can prevent accumulation of plaque.

Amalgam tattoos are gum discolorations that occur due to silver filling particles that become rooted in the gums, according to HealthGuidance. The silver causes a harmless darkening of the gums that a dentist can remove.


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