Dark Spots On Gums: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Dark spots on gums are a condition of the darkening of gums. This condition affects many people of all ages, races, and gender.

In this article, we will discuss hyperpigmentation or dark spots on gums with their cause, treatment, and prevention.

We will also explore how to differentiate between harmless gum spotting and when spotting is a sign of a serious oral medical condition. While others can be a sign of minor development that heal on their own others, however, can be a sign of something that immediately need to see your local dentist for professional help.

Below is information not only on different kinds of spots, their causes and treatments but also information on how to have great healthy gums that go with your pearly whites!

What Causes Dark Spots On Gums?

There are a number of causes of this condition. They can be classified into two  main types:

Internal Causes

Some of the internal causes of dark spots are:

Hormonal changes

Pregnant women can experience hyperpigmentation gums, mainly caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Eruption hematoma

It’s a condition that is much like a bruise as the gum tissue becomes swollen and discolored when blood vessels rupture under the gums. This can happen when teeth are pushing through the gums displacing them away from the tooth’s roots.


Melanin can cause dark gum spots due to accumulation on the surface of tissues known as papillae which contain many blood vessels. This pigment is produced by the body and is more common in those with darker skin.

HIV or Tuberculosis

Patients with HIV or tuberculosis can cause pigment lesions or affect your adrenal glands which in turn can cause dark spots on gums.

External Causes

External causes are described as those causes that are produced outside the body. They include:

Tobacco use

Smoking or chewing tobacco is commonly associated with gum discoloration due to the presence of tannins in these substances.


As we age, our skin becomes thinner and papillae become less pronounced making it easier for melanin to deposit on the surface of them.


Just like any part of the body gums can be bruised, causes can include flossing too hard, eating with sharp edges, and brushing too hard.

Oral piercings

Since gum tissue is quite elastic it can stretch when placed with an oral piercing, this stretching causes bleeding and bruising which in turn causes dark spots.

Blue Nevus

Is a condition where a mole is present inside the mouth, it may not be harmful but should be monitored to make sure it doesn’t change color or size.

Melanotic macule

Is a spot that appears on the gums, it may be bright red or purple in color. Commonly associated with melanoma, this type of lesion should be examined for signs of skin cancer.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a very serious condition that can result in severe health issues. One of the warning signs is a growth of dark a spot, with patches of reddish to white spots, inside the mouth.

If you see even the slightest of symptoms of oral cancer, do not delay any further – seek professional help for diagnosis.


Treatment Options For Dark Spots On Gums

For most people hyperpigmentation of the gums goes away without treatment.

However, sometimes they can be a sign of a much bigger problem such as oral cancer. It could also be a sign of teeth problems when it happens to your young children.

Ways To Prevent Dark Spots On Gums

The good news about dark spots on teeth is that there are things we can do to prevent them. And, some of them include things that we are already doing (or supposed to be doing as part of our oral hygiene regimen). Here are some things we can do to prevent dark spots on gums:

  • Brushing of the teeth 2 or more times a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Visiting the dentist for cleaning regularly
  • Using Flouride toothpaste
  • Using therapeutic mouth wash
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush

Then there are some preventative measures that require a lifestyle change like:

  • Quit smoking
  • Quit heavy drinking
  • Cutting down on sugar, spicy and acidic food

The takeaway

The bottom line is just like every part of our bodies oral health is important. And while you shouldn’t panic at the first sign of dark spots on your gums, it’s important to maintain a good oral hygiene to avoid what can be avoided.

Most of them causes of dark spots above are harmless, but if you’re unsure of the possible cause, its best you seek the help of your dentist on your local area for proper diagnosis.

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