When you think of ethnic pigmentation, you probably think of the stereotypical Irish person with red hair, the Italian person with tan skin and dark hair, or maybe even the Native American who has dark skin and blue eyes. What you may not realize, though, is that all of these ethnicities are missing something — melanin in their lips and gums. This causes dark areas to appear around their mouths when they smile or laugh, and it’s become so commonplace that people don’t even notice it anymore. But what causes it? And can gum bleaching help?
Melanin is a pigment that produces colors in the skin, hair, and eyes. It is a collective term for two different types of pigments: eumelanin (brown-black), which has been linked with photoprotection from UV radiation, and pheomelanin (red-yellow), which is associated with photosensitivity. This pigment can be found in other tissues as well, such as the brain. The amount of melanin present in an organism is determined by genetics. For example, some people have more eumelanin than pheomelanin while others have more pheomelanin than eumelanin.
Causes Of Melanin Pigment:
Melanin is a natural pigment that is produced by the body. The more exposure you have to the sun, the more melanin will be produced in order to protect your skin. Dentists would often recommend bleach as a way of removing pigmentation but it has been found that it can often cause damage. Ethnic pigmentation should not be confused with gum bleaching which can often cause burns on the gums which lead to infection or even worse, cancer.
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In order for the dentist to remove the pigmentation, he or she will need to perform a cosmetic gum bleaching. This process is done by using a laser on a low setting in order to burn away the melanocytes from the gum tissue. The procedure takes about an hour and can be slightly uncomfortable because of how hot the laser is.
The dentist also needs to have pictures of your mouth taken before performing any work. He or she may also take impressions of your teeth so that you can use them as a guide for future dental procedures. After going through this process, most people will see noticeable results after two weeks.
I know I’m not alone when I say that there’s nothing worse than seeing someone who didn’t take care of their teeth or has discolored gums. It can be embarrassing, and frustrating, and can have a major negative impact on your self-esteem. When you see people with bright white teeth and pink gums, it seems like they have it all together — which can make you feel like less of a person if you don’t have those qualities yourself.
Luckily, dental hygiene is something that is fixable and can often be treated right in the dentist’s office. The good news for people with dark skin pigmentation is that there are plenty of alternatives for dealing with this problem — without resorting to painful lasers or bleaching the tissue.