• Dark Gums in Children

Dark Gums in Children

As with adults, there are several reasons children can develop or have dark gums.

The most common factor is heredity/ethnicity.  But it’s sometimes the case that dark gums in children can be provoked by improper oral hygiene, which leads to tartar and plaque building up in the gumline.

But there are serious reasons for this phenomenon, too.  Internal bleeding may cause spontaneous darkening of the gums.  Necrosis of gum tissue is another serious cause, as well as HIV.

Necrotizing Tissue

Sometimes, the death of gum tissue can be attributable to trench mouth (known clinically as ulcerative gingivitis).

This painful swelling of the gums is caused by a surfeit of bacteria in the mouth.  This condition takes it name from World War I, when soldiers who spent long periods in trenches would develop the condition due to a lack of oral hygiene.

But trench mouth may also be caused by emotional stress, inadequate nutrition and infections in the mouth and neck.  All these factors point to problem in the home and should be managed carefully by dental professionals.

Symptoms of trench mouth include:

  • Ulcers between teeth
  • Foul breath
  • Bad taste
  • Fever
  • Gum inflammation
  • Gray film
  • Pain
  • Bleeding due to any pressure applied (as in brushing)
  • Fatigue


While black gums in infants are usually due to genetics, this characteristic can also be caused by teething, manifesting as spotting.

If, however, this spotting appears to be spreading, internal bleeding should be suspected. Any sudden changes in the coloration of gum tissue in infants and children should be investigated immediately.


Happily, most cases of dark gums in children are due to a preponderance of melanin in the body.  Melanin production is determined by heredity and is the reason for different hair and skin colors.

The more melanin you have, the darker your skin and hair will be.

It’s important to talk to your children about genetics and dark gums, if all other causes for darker pigment in childhood gum tissue have been ruled out.

Children are sensitive little souls, so letting them know that the color of their gums is normal is a good place to start.

As they get older, they’ll either forget their self-consciousness about their gum tissue pigmentation or feel compelled to do something about it.  Some adults with dark gums are perfectly happy with them. Others, not so much.


There was a time, not so long ago, that there was little you could do about darkly pigmented gums.  The market for changing it was crowded with painful solutions that demanded long periods of recovery.

But now, revolutionary Britegums® has changed the game!  Virtually painless, fast and requiring very little downtime, this technology was invented by Dr. Robert Stanley.

When a patient approached him about her splotchy gums and he investigated, he discovered that a better solution was needed.

That’s when he invented Britegums® technology.  Using radio waves and patented brushes, Britegums® removes the superficial layer of tissue, taking the melanin responsible for the pigmentation with it.

Contact us to find out more about Britegums®.

Britegums Don't Let Blotchy Gums Keep You From Your Smile