DARK GUMS: TRAUMA, ACCIDENTS, AND BENIGN CAUSES
BRUISING AND DARK GUMS
The gums are susceptible to bruising like other parts of the body. An individual can bruise them by getting hit with something, bumping into something, falling down, eating something with a sharp edge, or even flossing or brushing his or her teeth too hard. In such instances, there may well be some minor discomfort and bleeding in addition to the bruising.
Bruises generally heal up fine all on their own and are not cause for concern. If a person keeps developing them, though, and can’t figure out why, it’s wise to consult a doctor. The patient may have thrombocytopenia, a condition in which the blood doesn’t clot as readily as it should, and if so, that will require treatment.
ERUPTION HEMATOMAS AND DARK GUMS
Children sometimes develop dark gums due to an eruption hematoma. This can happen when either a baby or permanent tooth is about to come in. This creates a cyst filled with fluid, and if there’s blood in the fluid, that darkens the gum. The blood is typically present when an impact injures the eruption cyst.
Like simple bruising, an eruption hematoma usually clears up by itself after the tooth comes in. If the tooth doesn’t come in on its own, a physician can surgically open the cyst to let it through.
AMALGAM TATTOOS AND DARK GUMS
Amalgam is a substance dentists use to fill cavities. Sometimes the process leaves a stray bit of amalgam on the gum and creates a dark spot known as an amalgam tattoo. If this is the cause of an individual’s dark gums, a knowledgeable professional will usually be able to tell just by looking at the discoloration.
Amalgam tattoos aren’t removable, but fortunately, they aren’t harmful, either, and don’t require treatment. Dentists can prevent them by using rubber dams when they place fillings. The dam provides a barrier between the tooth and gum that keeps amalgam from migrating from the former to the latter.