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Why Are My Gums Purple?

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You take good care of your teeth and gums. They’re healthy, straight, and, every six months, your dentist tells you that your smile is perfect. But, when you look in the mirror, all you can notice are the blotchy spots along your gumline. They distract from your smile and you’re constantly wondering why they’re there (and if it’s healthy).  

We hear this question all of the time at Britegums®. “Why are my gums splotchy?  Why are my gums dark? Why are my gums purple?”

We know that dentists don’t talk about gingival pigmentation very often so we’re here to answer those questions for you. Hopefully, this article will shed some light on what our doctors call “Multi-focal gingival pigmentation.”


For many people with dark or unevenly pigmented gums, the answer may be simple and familiar: melanin. Those of us who have a lot of melanin naturally have darker skin tones. Those who have less melanin are paler. Melanin is what allows the skin to tan and a deficit of it is what causes the skin to burn.

When a person has a lot of melanin in their skin, that melanin can appear in the gum tissue. The result is dark patches on the gums. These black spots are completely normal and do not pose a threat to your health. However, they frequently cause people to become dissatisfied with their smiles.

 Very rarely do Britegums® patients dislike the fact that their gums are dark. Rather, they dislike the fact that their gingival pigmentation is uneven. We’re hyper-aware of symmetry when it comes to our own and other’s smiles. Spots on the gums can disrupt an otherwise perfectly symmetrical smile.


A lot of things change as we get older — including the color of our gums. If this change isn’t accompanied by any symptoms (like pain or bleeding), it’s a naturally occurring process that’s completely harmless. While you may not like the new appearance of your gums, it’s not always an indicator of poor health.

Of course, when something like this happens, it’s always best to contact your dentist and ask them about it. 


Smoking can change the color of gums. Doctors call this phenomenon Smoker’s Melanosis. Your gums may change to purple or brown and your palate and the insides of your cheeks may also change. This discoloration may be permanent or may fade after you quit smoking.

If this happens to you, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Purple or brown gums in smokers may signal gum disease or even oral cancer.


If you observe a change in gum color and you’re taking a medication for depression, the medication may be at fault.

Visit your doctor to discuss alternatives to the medication. If the change in gingival pigmentation persists after switching to a different medication, schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

Gum Disease

Gum disease (also called periodontal disease in its most severe form) forms when bacteria get caught underneath the gums. This can lead to a serious infection that can eventually cause tooth loss. Some of the first symptoms of gum disease are inflamed, bleeding gums that appear swollen and red.

Occasionally, gum disease can become so severe that the gums look dark and discolored. This is rare and definitely points to a serious infection that needs immediate treatment. A cosmetic procedure like Britegums® cannot treat gum disease and cannot be performed on patients with gum disease.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer has many different forms. It can appear in different areas of the mouth as different colored lesions. They can be painful or painless. This myriad of variations makes oral cancer extremely dangerous as many people don’t bother to get any problematic spots checked out before it’s too late.

If you observe the formation of a discolored spot on the gums, this may indicate early oral cancer. Visit your dentist immediately to have yourself checked.


If you’ve been to your dentist to ensure you’re not suffering from any of the conditions above but you’re still self-conscious about your purple gums, we have an answer.

Patented Britegums® technology is the contemporary solution to hyperpigmentation in the gum tissue. Fast and virtually painless, Britegums® is also long-lasting and affordable.

Find out more about this unique treatment for dark and uneven gum pigmentation to discover if Britegums® is right for you!

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