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All About Implants

My teeth were starting to deteriorate, and I was running out of options to repair them. The dentist gave me a choice. I could wait until the bone loss was so bad that I would have to have my teeth removed and get dentures, or I could have them removed now and get dental implants. I opted for the implants. If you’re thinking of getting dental implants, you probably have a lot of questions. I love mine, but they took some getting used to. In this blog, I’m sharing my experience and all the information that I picked up throughout my implant experience. You can find out what the procedure entails, how to prepare for your implants, and how to care for them once they’re in.


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All About Implants

Can Dentists Help Smokers Correct Discolored Gum Tissue?

by Alfredo Moore

If you smoke and have stains on your teeth, then whitening can be a beneficial treatment since it can remove discoloration. However, if smoking has caused discoloration on your gums, you may wonder if you can correct this issue as well. Read on to learn more about smoker's melanosis and how to treat it.

What Is Smoker's Melanosis?

When people smoke, the tar-like ingredients stimulate melanin production, known as smoker's melanosis. Melanin is a naturally occurring dark pigment in your skin and hair. The melanin develops because it binds to toxic agents and tries to expel them from the skin. This is a similar process to sun damage: your skin gets tan and produces melanin to protect itself from more damage.

Smoker's melanosis isn't dangerous, but some people may not like the blotchy discolorations on their gums. If you quit smoking, the melanosis may actually fade after a few months or years. However, some people may retain discoloration even if they quit. A cosmetic dentist can correct these discolorations with a gum depigmentation procedure.

Is Gum Depigmentation Similar to Tooth Whitening? 

This procedure is similar to tooth whitening as far as it is meant to correct discoloration. However, the procedures are very different. With tooth whitening, your dentist will likely use carbamide peroxide or carbamide peroxide to whiten your teeth. These chemicals aren't safe for gums because they cause chemical burns and sensitivity, so they aren't used for gum depigmentation.

What is Gum Depigmentation Like?

During a gum depigmentation procedure, your dentist will first use a local anesthetic to numb your gums. They will then use a carbon dioxide laser to target darker areas of gum tissue. The laser breaks up the pigment which is then resorbed by the body and the gum tissue looks more even in color.

If there are too many dark spots to break up with a laser, your dentist could also do a gum graft. They could remove some of the darkened gum tissue and use healthy tissue—like from your palate—to create a gum graft. Your gums may be a little sore after this type of procedure, but there are minimal complications. You should be able to eat and drink soon afterward. Like tooth whitening, you may need a few gum depigmentation sessions to get the color uniformity that you want.

Reach out to services like Universal Dental Center to learn more about gum depigmentation.