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Have you ever looked at someone’s smile and wondered why portions of his or her gums are black? Or have you started noticing it yourself?

Sometimes, it has to do with melanin (pigmentation of the skin). However, if someone’s gums used to be pink and now look black, it’s most certainly an indication of gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues surrounding your teeth. It is caused by poor oral health including not brushing teeth enough and not flossing.

Left untreated, it causes chronic bad breath, tooth decay, tooth loss, and a myriad of other issues for your overall health.

But how would you know if you have it? Isn’t it normal to have red gums and to bleed when trying to floss? In a nutshell, no, it isn’t. In order to nip periodontal disease in the bud, it’s important to know how to recognize the symptoms early on.

Gum Disease Symptoms

Since black gum disease is progressive, let’s start by listing the initial symptoms of gum disease:

– Puffy, irritated gums
– Occasional bleeding
– Painful chewing
– Teeth sensitivity
– Receding gum lines

If you’re experiencing any of these, know that you likely have gingivitis, which is one of the early stages of gum disease.

The good news is that gingivitis is reversible, so we advise that you schedule an appointment for a teeth cleaning as soon as you start noticing these symptoms. Otherwise, left untreated, over time it could develop into black gum disease.

Black Gum Disease Symptoms

Once gums start turning black, gum disease has progressed to acute necrotizing periodontal disease. You read that right: necrotizing, as in, the tissue is dead.

When periodontal disease progresses to black gums it requires immediate medical attention. The most common symptoms are:

– Black gums
– Sharp pain in the gums
– Acute bleeding of the gums
– Foul breath
– Excessive saliva
– Painful swallowing
– Severe jaw pain
– Ulcers along the gumline
– Metallic taste
– Fever

It sounds awful because it is. In addition to having an aggressive infection of the gums, the disease also attacks the bones that hold the teeth in place. It could also affect your lymph nodes. This is a pretty serious complication, since lymph nodes help the human body fight infections. Therefore, failing to treat black gum disease properly opens the door to additional illnesses.

It is also common for people who have a compromised immune system to develop black gum disease. Therefore, it can happen with more frequency among AIDS and cancer patients, or people with poorly controlled diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Additional risk factors include tobacco use, high stress, poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and certain medications.

Black Gum Disease Treatment | How to Treat Gum Disease

Treating black gum disease involves several visits to the dentist and a lot of patience. Generally, it includes:

– Debridement (removal of dead tissue)
– Plaque removal
– Teeth planning
– Oral rinses
– Antibiotics
– Pain killers
– Better oral hygiene
– Improved nutrition
– High fluid intake

Contact us at Impeccable Smiles to Help Maintain Your Healthy Teeth and Gums
If you or someone you love is experiencing black gum disease, let us help you. With the proper treatment, we can improve your oral health and set you on the right track.

Call us or schedule an appointment online.