Should You See the Dentist if Your Gums Are Dark?

Dark gums can be just one of the many signs of gum disease that you should tell your dentist about. Or, your gums may be perfectly healthy and just naturally darker in pigment. Some people do have naturally dark gums in a brown or black color, often because they have more melanin in their skin than others. Still, others may have darker gums due to hereditary issues.

Should you see the dentist if your gums are dark? It depends; understand the following signs that indicate you should see your dentist for your darker gums. 

1. Your gums have changed in color

Have your gums always been dark, or are you just now noticing a change in their color? Do you have darkness right under your gum line, then the color goes back to a more normal pink or light red color after?

A change in the color of your gums can indicate gum disease, which is common in many adults but should also be treated right away. If your gums are spotty, suddenly dark, getting darker with time, or just look unusual in any way, call your dentist.

2. You've been taking minocycline

Minocycline is a medication that is taken orally to treat a variety of ailments from acne to pneumonia. A somewhat common side effect of this medication, however, is the changing of your skin, nails, and gums coloration. If you have been taking minocycline and your gums are getting darker, this medication could be to blame. However, if your gums are also swelling, sore, or bleeding, contact your dentist to see if gum disease is part of the reason why your gums are dark.

3. You've had gum disease before

If you are prone to gum disease either by genetics, your lifestyle habits, or because you've had gum disease in the past, dark gums now can indicate a return or worsening of this condition. Gum disease can cause irritated gums to become purple or darker, especially behind the front teeth where plaque and bacteria can be harder to reach and clean out. Continue brushing and flossing as usual and contact your dentist about having a periodontal treatment to give your teeth and gums a proper, thorough cleaning.

With the right dental intervention, even dark gums can be treated if needed. Sometimes, dark gums are a natural occurrence and no cause for alarm. Other times, however, darker gums should be given care immediately. If you have any dental concerns at all, call your dentist right away for an appointment.