What are black spots on the gums?
Black spots on the gums, also known as gum discoloration, are dark spots that can appear on the gum tissue. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including internal and external causes.
What are the causes of black spots on the gums?
Internal causes: Certain medical conditions, such as tuberculosis, Addison’s disease, and HIV, can affect melanin production, which can lead to black spots on the gums. Melanin is a pigment that gives skin and hair their color.
External causes: Exposure to certain substances, such as drugs, smoking and tobacco products, trauma to the face or mouth, heavy metals, and injury from a graphite pencil, can also cause black spots on the gums.
Other possible causes:
- Amalgam tattoos: These are caused by small pieces of amalgam filling material (which contains mercury) becoming embedded in the gum tissue.
- Oral melanoacanthoma: This is a rare condition that causes dark spots to develop in the mouth, including on the gums.
- Gingival hemangioma: This is a benign (non-cancerous) growth of blood vessels in the gums.
Are black spots on the gums a sign of cancer?
While rare, black spots on the gums can be a sign of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the mouth. However, it is important to note that black spots on the gums are more commonly caused by other factors, such as those listed above.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Other symptoms of oral cancer may include:
- A sore that does not heal
- White or red patches in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- A lump in the neck
- Pain in the mouth or ear
- Loose teeth
When should I see a doctor about black spots on the gums?
You should see a doctor if:
- You have black spots on your gums that are large or growing
- You have other symptoms of oral cancer
- You have a medical condition that affects melanin production
How are black spots on the gums diagnosed?
To diagnose the cause of black spots on the gums, your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask you about your medical history. They may also order tests, such as a biopsy, to remove a small sample of tissue for testing.
How are black spots on the gums treated?
The treatment for black spots on the gums will depend on the underlying cause. If the cause is a medical condition, such as tuberculosis or Addison’s disease, the underlying condition will need to be treated. If the cause is external, such as exposure to drugs or smoking, the source of the exposure should be eliminated. In some cases, the black spot may need to be removed surgically.
How can I prevent black spots on the gums?
The best way to prevent black spots on the gums is to avoid exposure to the factors that can cause them. This includes:
- Avoiding smoking and tobacco products
- Limiting exposure to heavy metals
- Exercising caution when using graphite pencils
- Seeing a dentist or doctor for regular checkups and cleanings
I have black spots on my gums. What should I do?
If you have black spots on your gums, it is important to see a doctor or dentist to determine the cause and get the appropriate treatment.
Contact us today at Sbenati Dentistry to schedule a consultation and let us help you with any of your dental needs. [https://calendly.com/sbenatidentistry/interview]
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