Q:

What causes black gums?

A:

According to How Stuff Works, black gums are the result of black gum disease, otherwise known as acute necrotizing periodontal disease. An imbalance in melanin production or pigmentation in the gums is another likely cause.

How Stuff Works further notes that black gum disease degrades the gum into dead tissue. Other symptoms include an offensive mouth odor, bleeding and pain. Malnutrition, smoking and HIV can lead to black gum disease. It can also spread to the bones and cartilage around the gums if the problem is not treated. Treatment for this illness comes in the form of oxygen therapy in conjunction with antibiotics. Removing the decaying gums through surgical procedure is another option.

Wikipedia claims that the illness occurs in various stages, including the milder necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. How Stuff Works claims that acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is also known as "trench mouth" due to the onset of the disease among soldiers during World War I. This form of gingivitis is the result of poor dental hygiene, but it is considered a rare disease in modern society.

How Stuff Works adds that a melanin imbalance in the gums is more likely among people with dark skin; however, such an offset in the gums can happen in any ethnic group. Other diseases in the form of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Addison's disease and Von Recklinghausen's disease can cause a boost in melanin production. The gums can also darken when exposed to too much sunlight. Certain cosmetic procedures lighten and restore proper pigment to the gums.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What does it mean when a dentist checks a patient's gums and says "3, 1, 3, 3?"

    A:

    The McCarl Dental Group states that these numbers are the raw measurements of gum tissue pockets around teeth and are used to diagnose periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. The pockets are measured with a periodontal probe by the dentist and called out to the dental assistant for recording.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes purple gums?

    A:

    Purple gums are caused by gum disease and can be a sign of both gingivitis and periodontitis, according to Quantum Health. Gum disease results from infection that causes inflammation. This inflammation process causes discoloration of the gums along with bleeding, bad breath, shiny gums and mouth sores. Gum disease is preventable with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes black teeth?

    A:

    Some of the causes of black teeth are foods and drinks, tobacco use, poor dental hygiene, diseases, medications and dental materials, according to MedicineNet. Genetics and excessive fluoride use are also possible factors.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes blisters on the tongue?

    A:

    According to WebMD, the causes of blisters or ulcers on the tongue are not always known, but they can be due to stress or injury. Other causes include a sharp tooth or ill-fitting dental appliances.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore