What Causes Gum Discoloration?

What Causes Gum Discoloration? annapolis dental care

Gum discoloration can be caused by diseases or other conditions affecting the mouth.

Have you noticed gum discoloration in your mouth? While some diseases may change the color of your gums, in reality, not all healthy gums are bright pink! We’ve compiled a list of a few conditions that may impact the color of your gums and which are cause for concern. If you’re worried that the discoloration of your gums may be indicative of an underlying health problem, you can always reach out to your dentist for more information. 

Normal Variations in Color

The color of your gums isn’t necessarily an indicator of your oral health. Gum color naturally varies from person to person, just like skin or hair color. For someone who naturally produces more melanin, their gums could be generally darker or even have spots of darker tissue. If you’ve noticed that your gums aren’t perfectly pink, your dentist can tell you if your gum discoloration is something to be worried about.  

Diseases and Other Conditions that Cause Gum Discoloration

While a natural gum color may be different for everyone, some external factors can also cause unhealthy gum discoloration. 


While you’ve undoubtedly seen tooth discoloration due to cigarette smoking, Nicotine can cause your body to increase melanin production, causing your gums to become darker over time. 


Medications like tricyclic antidepressants or minocycline can cause gum discoloration as well. If you’ve noticed your gums changing color after starting a new drug, you should let your doctor know and explore alternatives. 

Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

This condition causes gums to become grey due to the buildup of film on the surface of the gums. While it’s pretty rare today, so if you visit your dentist regularly, you shouldn’t need to worry about this! 


Thrush is caused by a fungal infection and is usually characterized by your gums, tongue, and mouth turning white. Your dentist can help treat this and give you steps to improve your oral health to prevent it from coming back. 


This precancerous condition can also turn your gums white, typically due to tobacco usage or excessive alcohol consumption. If you’re at increased risk of developing mouth cancers, you should discuss steps you can take to prevent any other damage with your dentist. 

Acute Necrotizing Periodontal Disease

This condition can turn your gums black and indicates dead tissue around the teeth. Typically, in addition to gum discoloration, symptoms include:

  • Bleeding Gums
  • Intense Pain in Mouth
  • Unpleasant Odor in Mouth

If you suspect you may be developing Acute Necrotizing Periodontal Disease, you should contact your dentist immediately. 

Keep Your Mouth Happy With Family Dentistry At Annapolis Dental Care!

Whether it’s a regular check-up you need or a tooth extracted, your dentist in Annapolis is here to serve! Annapolis Dental Care has the expertise and compassion to work with you on improving your oral health. Your comfort and health are our top priorities, and so we go above and beyond to make our patients happy and give them the highest quality care. To set up an appointment today, please give us a call at 410-571-5014 or visit us online. For more oral health tips for you and your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! We are always looking for new patients, so if you live in Arnold, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, MD, come on down!

This entry was posted on Friday, March 25th, 2022 at 10:47 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.