How To Treat Black Gums
Treating black gums depends on the cause. No treatment is necessary if black gums are your standard gum color. Likewise, if a benign lesion causes black gums, you may not need any treatment.
However, if black gums cause you problems or pain, or if they develop into cancer, you may need treatment. In addition, some people prefer treatment for cosmetic reasons. Some treatment options for black gums include:
- Surgical abrasions
- Scalpel gingivectomy
- Laser vaporization
- Gingival grafts
What Is The Black Spot On The Inside Of My Cheek
During your regular brushing and flossing routine, you may be alarmed if you find a black spot on the inside of your cheek. Black spots or dark spots on the inside of your cheek can be caused by a variety of different things, most of which are mild and easily treatable. However, some causes of black spots are more serious, like oral cancer. For this reason, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine the cause of your black spot. Some possible causes of a black spot inside the cheek include:
How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Oral Cancer
Your dentist may spot potential oral cancer during one of your regular checkups. They may follow up with preliminary tests or refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or head and neck surgeon. These specialists are also called ear, nose and throat specialists.
Oral cancer tests include:
- Physical examination: Your healthcare provider will look at the entire inside of your mouth and might feel around your mouth. Theyll also examine your head, face and neck for potential signs of pre-cancer or cancer.
- Brush biopsy also called scrape biopsy or exfoliative cytology: Healthcare providers use a small brush or spatula to gently scrape the area in question to obtain cells examined for cancer.
- Incisional biopsy: Your healthcare provider will remove small pieces of tissue to get cells to be examined for cancer.
- Indirect laryngoscopy and pharyngoscopy: Your healthcare provider uses a small mirror on a long thin handle to look at your throat, the base of your tongue and part of your larynx .
- Direct pharyngoscopy and laryngoscopy: They may use an endoscope to look at areas of your throat and mouth that cant be seen with mirrors. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with an attached light and viewing lens.
You May Like: Knee Pain Radiating To Ankle
Buccal Mucosa Cancer Treatment
Inner cheek cancer is highly curable when diagnosed early. Treatment often involves surgery performed by a head and neck cancer surgeon.
The goals of the treatment of inner cheek cancer are to:
- cure the cancer
- preserve your appearance and the functions of your mouth
- prevent the cancer from coming back
The extent and depth of the cancer guides your plan of care. If the cancer is more advanced, radiation, chemotherapy, or both may be used to shrink the tumor before or after surgery to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. For some people, radiation may be the only treatment needed.
How Is Lip Cancer Diagnosed
If you have signs or symptoms of lip cancer, see your doctor. Theyll perform a physical exam of your lips and other parts of your mouth to search for abnormal areas and try to identify possible causes.
Your doctor will use a gloved finger to feel inside your lips and use mirrors and lights to examine the inside of your mouth. They may also feel your neck for swollen lymph nodes.
Your doctor will also ask you about your:
Recommended Reading: What Types Of Cancer Can Be Treated With Immunotherapy
Symptoms Of Black Gums
The main symptom of black gums is gum color that appears black or dark brown. The color variation of black gums may include:
Pigmented spots on gums can be benign . However, it can also be a symptom of more severe diseases, like oral malignant melanoma. Therefore, if your gums have black spots, you should see a dentist or your healthcare provider for an evaluation.
What Is Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth and throat. It can be deadly if not treated early, so its important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Oral cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, and inside of the cheeks. Most oral cancers can be found in the head and neck but may not cause any symptoms until the oral cancers progress. If no symptoms occur, the developing oral cancer can migrate cancer cells to the lymph nodes.
Don’t Miss: How To Gain Weight After Chemo And Radiation
Advanced Stages Of Periodontal Disease
Once gum disease has progressed you may begin to notice dark spots appearing on your upper and lower gums. If the periodontal disease has reached this point you may also be experiencing issues with your teeth. The bone and soft tissue begin to weaken and you are more susceptible to losing teeth. Trench mouth is a particular version of periodontal disease.
Smoking And Alcohol Abuse
Smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to the formation of dark spots on lips. Also, the heat from the burning cigarettes can damage the skin of the lips to develop dark scarring. Harmful nicotine and tar from tobacco product can increase the risk for you to get any type of cancer in your body.
Abuse of alcohol is another factor that can lead to dark dots or patches on lower lips. Some alcoholic drinks can burn or corrode the skin of the lips to develop dark scars.
Recommended Reading: Can Non Smokers Get Lung Cancer
What Are Some Ways To Treat Black Gums
Once the cause of your darkened gums has been determined, multiple methods are available to remove the dark spots on your gum and to restore the pink gum.
Laser Tissue Bleaching
Laser bleaching is a far less intrusive procedure. There are no incisions necessary and recovery time is quick. Most patients only need one treatment and are thrilled with their results.
Prior to the procedure local anesthesia is applied to make patients more comfortable. Then the laser is used to lighten the tissue to the desired color. For the most part, laser bleaching is a painless procedure that provides great results.
Depending on the diagnosis, the best treatment may be removal of the gum tissue. This may be necessary with cancer or severe cases of infection. Prior to the procedure you will be given anesthesia. The affected tissue will be removed with a scalpel and then covered or bandaged to allow for proper healing.
Gum Cancer Prevention Tips
To help prevent oral cancer:
- Use sunscreen, especially on your lips
- Stop smoking tobacco or using smokeless tobacco products if you cannot stop, try to cut back or speak to your doctor about ways to quit
- Drink alcohol in moderation talk to your doctor about ways to cut back if you experience difficulty in doing so
- Get the human papillomavirus vaccine
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Schedule routine dental exams regular exams will help you and your doctor detect oral cancer early
In this article
Recommended Reading: Which Chemo Drugs Cause Hair Loss
Treatment Or Removal Options
Do you really need to go for treatment to get rid of dark spots from mouth? Our response would be a YES or a NO. If the spots are diagnosed and evaluated your dentist will determine if they require treatment and your doctor may interrogate you to find more on symptoms i.e. if the dark bumps or spots are painful or cause discomfort.
What are the treatment forms available?
A simple excision may be done by your doctor in order to know what your problem is. On the other hand a surgical excision is one of the effective methods used to remove oral fibroma tissues only if it is actually known.
This procedure is quite simple and very safe so long as it is carried out by a certified dental expert.
NOTE: Oral fibroma tissues would not heal naturally unless they are removed or treated.
Use of antibiotics to control or treat oral infections must be approached with caution. Before using oral antibiotics talk to your dentist and inform them about your tongue problem. It is also important to know whether your symptoms keep on coming and going.
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors For Floor Of Mouth Cancer
Men are diagnosed with floor of mouth cancer three to four times more often than women.
The most significant risk factors for floor of mouth cancer are tobacco and alcohol use. Smokeless tobacco is more of a risk for this cancer than cigarettes because the plug of tobacco is pressed again the skin in the mouth.
Other potential causes include people with certain infections or decreased immunity, such as:
- People exposed to the human papilloma virus, especially strains 16 and 18
- Organ transplant recipients
- People with human immunodeficiency virus disease
Recommended Reading: What Are Symptoms Of Radiation Poisoning
What Facts Should I Know About Oral Cancer
The oral cavity and the upper part of the throat have roles in many important functions, including breathing, talking, chewing, and swallowing. The mouth and upper throat are sometimes referred to as the oropharynx or oral cavity. The important structures of the mouth and upper throat include lips, inside lining of the cheeks , teeth, gums , tongue, floor of the mouth, back of the throat, including the tonsils , roof of the mouth , the area behind the wisdom teeth, and the salivary glands.
Many different cell types make up these different structures. Cancer occurs when normal cells undergo a transformation whereby they grow and multiply without normal controls. Malignant tumors of the oral cavity can encroach on and invade neighboring tissues. They can also spread to remote sites in the body through the bloodstream or to lymph nodes via the lymph vessels. The process of invading and spreading to other organs is called metastasis.
Tumors in the mouth and throat include both benign and malignant types. Benign tumors, although they may grow and penetrate below the surface layer of tissue, do not spread by metastasis to other parts of the body. Benign tumors of the oropharynx are not discussed in this article.
Each year, almost 50,000 people in the U.S. will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. Around 9,700 people will die of these cancers.
Premalignant conditions are cell changes that are not cancer but which may become cancer if not treated.
Is It Oral Cancer
Should you be worried if you have a tumor under your tongue, on the lateral border or side of tongue?
According to cancer experts of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, 90 per cent of oral cancer cases are due to Squamous cell carcinoma. Characterized by flat cells, this form of cancer affects the larynx, throat and oral mucosa including the gums and lips. The other type of oral cancer is lymphomas that causes damage to lymph tissue.
Symptoms of oral cancer
Typical oral cancer symptoms may vary from with patients affected depending on what triggers development of cancer and the type of oral cancer. Common symptoms include
- Swelling, bumps, and lumps or spots in mouth that do not heal easily
- Sudden bleeding in mouth especially from sores
- Numbness in mouth or loss in feeling
- Tenderness and swelling in neck region
- Difficulty in swelling and talking among others
Don’t Miss: Radiation Cream For Breast Cancer
What Causes A Black Spot On Your Gums
Have you noticed any black or dark brown spots on your gums? Changes to your gums may be a sign of a serious condition, but most cases of dark spots are benign. Understanding what causes a black spot on your gums can help you determine the action you need to take.
No matter the cause, you should always consult your dentist when you notice any changes to your oral health. The expert staff at Lifetime Family Dental are always happy to gently examine your mouth and answer any questions you have.
What Are Treatment Options For Mouth And Throat Cancer
After evaluation by a surgical or radiation oncologist to treat the cancer, there will be ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss which treatments are available.
- The doctor will explain each type of treatment, elaborate the pros and cons, and make recommendations.
- Treatment for head and neck cancer depends on the type of cancer and whether it has affected other parts of the body. Factors such as age, overall health, and whether the patient has already been treated for the cancer before are included in the treatment decision-making process.
- The decision of which treatment to pursue is made with the doctor and family members, but ultimately, the decision is the patient’s.
- A patient should be certain to understand what will be done and why, and what he or she can expect from the choices. With oral cancers, it is especially important to understand the side effects of treatment.
Like many cancers, head and neck cancer is treated on the basis of cancer stage. The most widely used therapies are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Treatment falls into two categories: treatment to fight the cancer and treatment to relieve the symptoms of the disease and the side effects of the treatment .
Surgery is the treatment of choice for early stage cancers and many later stage cancers. The tumor is removed, along with surrounding tissues, including but not limited to the lymph nodes, blood vessels, nerves, and muscles that are affected.
Read Also: Radiation Therapist Salary By State
What Can Cause Black Gums
One of the main questions your dentist will ask you is whether or not your black gums have always been dark in color, or if this is a recent development. If you have dark or pigmented areas in your mouth, it doesnt always mean they arent healthy or that they require treatment.
Your black gums may be caused by melanin. Different amounts of melanin can affect not only the color of our skin tone, but also the color of the soft tissues in your mouth. If your darkened gums are simply due to melanin then there is no treatment necessary, unless of course, youd like to do so for cosmetic reasons.
2) Dental trauma
Bruising can affect all areas of the body, including the gums. If you have experienced a recent dental trauma then bruising may be a side effect that just needs time to heal. After mouth trauma, watch the area to see if it is getting worse or not healing then it is time to see your dentist.
Have you recently started a new medication? Medications can have all sorts of side effects, including darkening of the gums. If you think your medication may be responsible for the changes in your mouth then it is good to mention this to your doctor. A different medication may be prescribed.
A condition called smokers melanosis can also be responsible for dark gums. An ingredient in cigarettes called nicotine contributes to this issue. Research has shown that quitting smoking can possibly reverse the darkened areas.
5) A failing old crown
Mouth And Throat Cancer Surgery
Oral surgery for cancer may be simple or very complicated. This depends on how far the cancer has spread from where it started. Cancers that have not spread can often be removed quite easily, with minimal scarring or change in appearance.
If the cancer has spread to other structures, those structures must also be removed. This may include small muscles in the neck, lymph nodes in the neck, salivary glands, and nerves and blood vessels that supply the face. Structures of the jaw, chin, and face, as well as teeth and gums, may also be affected.
If any of these structures are removed, the person’s appearance will change. The surgery will also leave scars that may be visible. These changes can sometimes be extensive. A plastic surgeon may take part in the planning or in the operation itself to minimize these changes. Reconstructive surgery may be an option to restore tissues removed or altered by surgery.
Removal of tissues and the resulting scars can cause problems with the normal functions of the mouth and throat. These disruptions may be either temporary or permanent. Chewing, swallowing, and speaking are the functions most likely to be disrupted.
Read Also: Stomach Pain Radiating To Back
What Are The Signs Of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer may also appear as white or red patches on the gums, tonsils, or the lining of the mouth. This is what cancer in the mouth looks like.
Other symptoms include:
- feeling like something is caught in your throat
- trouble moving your jaw or tongue
Researchers arent exactly sure what causes oral cancers. But scientists now believe that cancers start after theres damage or mutations in the genetic code that controls cell growth and death.
These factors are known to increase your risk of developing oral cancer:
- Tobacco use.Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or using smokeless tobacco or chewing tobacco is one of the most well-known risks of oral cancer.
- Consuming large amounts of alcohol. Heavy drinkers are more likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer. For people who use tobacco along with alcohol, the danger is much higher.
- Human papillomavirus . Cancers that are linked to HPV are generally found at the back of the throat, the base of the tongue, and in the tonsils. Although the overall cases of oral cancer are dropping, cases due to HPV have been rising .
- Sun exposure. An excess of sun exposure on your lips increases your risk of oral cancer. You can reduce the danger by using a lip balm or cream containing SPF.
You can also reduce your risk by: