Gum Lightening: How Dentists Used To Try To Remove Gum Pigmentation

Are you looking to lighten the color of your gum tissue? You’re not alone. Gum pigmentation can be difficult to remove, especially when at-home bleaching kits and over-the-counter options don’t seem to be doing much. However, there are more effective ways to achieve it, even if they might make you cringe just a little bit. Let’s take a look at how dentists used to try and remove gum pigmentation in the past, as well as what newer options exist today.

What Does Bleaching Mean?


The first step in gum lightening is simple: brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide works as an oxidizer, which speeds up the rate at which oxygen reacts with other chemicals and can, in this case, lighten your teeth. Peroxides react fastest with certain chemicals—like copper or iron—which are present in teeth and their pigments. To speed up the reaction and get better results, mix a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar into your hydrogen peroxide-based toothpaste for one minute every morning. Let this sit on your teeth for one minute before brushing it off. You can also use whitening strips to get faster results!

The Old Way VS. New Way:


But in the modern world, with all of our state-of-the-art dental equipment, we don’t have to resort to pain. The good news is that there are a few new methods that offer great results with minimal side effects — such as laser gum lightening. For years, dentists would literally burn away an entire layer of the gum tissue in the hopes of getting rid of the pigmentation; though not many people were familiar with this process or comfortable enough for it. When you think about it, burning your gums seems like a pretty brutal way to go about doing something so benign — and painful! All we need now is something like lasers for gum lightening and maybe one day we’ll live in a world where people’s teeth can be a shade of pink!

What Do You Need To Know?


There are many reasons why a person’s gums could become dark. However, dark gums have always been seen as unappealing, and dentists have resorted to various methods of trying to get rid of the coloration. One way they used it in the past was by literally burning away an entire layer of gum tissue with lasers. This was an extremely painful procedure that usually only removed the color from one or two teeth on either side of the mouth at a time. Today, there are new methods that utilize chemicals that don’t harm teeth or gum tissue such as toothpaste or professional bleaching treatments for both teeth and gums.

Which Method Is Right For You?


When it comes to eliminating or reducing the appearance of gingival pigmentation, there are many treatment options available. For people who are experiencing mild gingival discoloration, whitening toothpaste and rinses may be a more viable option than lasers. This is because these treatments may have some mild bleaching effects that could naturally lighten gum tissue. However, for people with moderate-to-severe gingival pigmentation, laser therapy is usually the best option because it not only treats the color and texture issues but also stops the process that is causing them in the first place (increased melanin levels).

Expected Results:


I learned how dentists would use a laser that would remove the pigmented gum tissue without the pain. I was not aware of the risks that were involved with this procedure such as bleeding and permanent disfigurement. This process can also lead to some scarring and skin damage, which isn’t something I want for my teeth. In addition, all patients have different healing time periods, so not everyone can just get it done in one sitting. Though it is a more expensive option than having to visit your dentist regularly for bleaching treatments, it’s better for those who don’t want their lips feeling the heat of bleach or their gums looking worse off than before.

Common Questions/Concerns:


How much does it cost? This process can be done in a few visits with the final visit being free of charge. How many visits are required? Usually, 3 to 4 treatments are spaced one month apart. Is there any downtime after the treatment? It is recommended you take it easy for the rest of the day but may resume your normal routine before the next appointment. Do I need numbness or sensitivity after this treatment? Sensitivity will vary on an individual basis depending on one’s pain tolerance and other factors.
My gums keep going back to their original color after about 6 months. What causes this?

Is It Safe?


When dentists used lasers to lighten the color of your teeth, it was never about making you look better. Their goal was always to get rid of discoloration in order to improve your oral health. For decades, dentists would use lasers on a client’s gums and tissue without any pain relief because they believed it would help treat bacteria that led to bad breath, gum disease, and plaque buildup.
Lasers are no longer used by dentists in this manner since research has found they’re ineffective at getting rid of gum pigmentation.

Things That Don’t Help:

Bleaching – It’s just not as effective as you might hope. In fact, in some cases, it can be downright counterproductive if the bleach kills off your healthy cells.

Dentist Medication – There are prescription-strength bleaching kits out there and while they can work faster than at-home bleaching kits, their effectiveness is pretty much the same thing. And again, the risk of overdoing it with bleach leads to a lot of unpleasant side effects like bleeding gums and extreme pain.

Frequently Asked Questions:


What is the difference between laser gum bleaching and teeth whitening? There are a few different types of light-based treatments for teeth whitening, and some people find that these treatments work better than laser gum bleaching. Plus, laser treatments can have side effects like bleeding gums, but tooth whiteners typically do not. Is it safe? No type of treatment is 100% safe. It is important to have a clear idea of what you want before making any decisions about which kind of treatment you’re going to try so that you can make an informed decision about your health. What should I consider before starting a procedure?