Gum Lightening is an ineffective and painful way to remove gum pigmentation or darkened gums. In the past, dentists would use lasers to burn away an entire layer of the gum tissue in the hopes of removing melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) from their root source. However, this process was risky and ineffective; it would cause gum swelling and discoloration in addition to destroying some of your natural teeth. Now that laser technology has improved, there are safer and more effective ways to get rid of dark gums—and we’re going to discuss them here!
What is gum lightning?
Gum lightening is a method of removing gum pigment that was developed by dentists in the past. In this procedure, dentists would use lasers to burn away layers of the gum tissue in the hopes of getting rid of melanocytes, which produce pigment-causing melanin. This technique has been largely abandoned due to its ineffectiveness and the extreme pain it causes patients. It can take months for the gums to heal if they ever do at all….
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How does it work?
The process of gum lightening involves the dentist taking out one or more pieces of gum tissue, exposing the underlying layer of teeth (or gums), and then using a laser to apply heat directly to the exposed tissues, destroying melanocytes and reversing any pigment they may have produced. The dentist will then put back in the removed piece of gum tissue, which takes about three weeks to fully heal before you can go back for your next appointment. The process of gum lightening is incredibly invasive, requiring that a dentist take out a piece of tissue from inside your mouth so that they can use a laser on it. This procedure comes with potential risks such as infection or bruising, not to mention some pretty intense pain!
Is it effective?
Fortunately for those who may be interested in lightening their gum line, there are a number of new methods that are more effective and less invasive than the old method of bleaching your gums. These methods include laser gum lightening, which uses lasers to break down melanin in the same way they work on tattoos; however, instead of burning off skin tissue, they use laser energy to break down the pigment molecules directly under the gum line. Laser-based treatments are typically much less expensive than other treatment options, such as bleach or surgery; often costing anywhere between $300-$1000 depending on how many sessions you need.
Are there any alternatives?
There are, thankfully, better alternatives to gum lightening than lasers that can cause pain and can actually make the problem worse. The first alternative, which is by far the best, would be bleaching your teeth in order to even out the color of your gums. This will also help with any tooth sensitivity you might be feeling as a result of having darker gums than teeth.
Second, if you want something faster-acting but not quite as effective, there are products on the market that use a bleaching agent called carbamide peroxide in order to lighten dark or stained gums over time. This won’t give instant results like bleaching will but it’ll still help lighten them up a little bit over time so you’re less self-conscious about your appearance.