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Sunday, February 7, 2016
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids
Why does my daughter have dark gums?
My child is 5 yrs old now and weighed 1 lb at birth. She is a miracle baby. I do not understand why her gums are so very dark. Her skin is light. I have never seen a person with such dark gums. I took her to the dentist and she has no cavity and the dentist was surprise that her gums are so dark.
Thank you for your question - and congratulations on no cavities for your child!
To fully understand the presentation, a clinical exam is the best method. There are several potential causes for pigmentation of oral tissues - these range from:
- underlying hormonal / endocrine disorders
- deposition of excess minerals (such as in hemachromatosis)
- nutrition/diet based causes
- routine melanin deposition / racial pigmentations.
An exam by a pediatric dentist or oral/maxillofacial pathologist would be a good place to start. They will also want to know her medical history, results of recent examinations by a pediatrician, and history of any medications, etc.
Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Director, Residency Program, Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati