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Thursday, December 18, 2014
DARK COLORED GUMS
MY 7 YR OLD HAS DARK COLORED GUMS AT THE BOTTOM. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Pigmentation of the gums (dark color seen at the gingiva) is generally physiological (normal) depending on the person's race. African Americans present more pigmentation, thus gums may have a darker color, especially in some areas. This is generally seen symmetrically (present both in right and left sites).
Sometimes, darker color may happen due to a foreign body. It generally occurs due to amalgam restoration materials staying around following tooth extraction, etc. [It looks like a tattoo.]
And sometimes, they may be related to a local pathology affecting melanin-releasing cells [very similar to what we experience on skin].
It may also be related to systemic health problems, especially related to blood cells. Thus, I recommend you visit a pedodontist (dentist with a speciality in children's oral health) if you do not have African American, Mediterranean, Asian, etc. background and/or if the color changes are newly noticed and/or if the color change is not symmetrical.
Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University