Florida Keys – Laser Gum Depigmentation (Gum Bleaching)

Although many presume that all gingival tissues (gum tissues) are pink, this is a misconception. The shades of gingival tissues are just as diverse as skin tones. Individuals who have gum tissue that is very dark or that has inconsistent color patterns may have a condition referred to as gingival hyperpigmentation. Dr. William P. Lamas frequently treats this condition at his office in Miami, near the Florida Keys, using a laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedure. This innovative procedure makes correcting color variances in the gingival tissue and lightening extremely dark gingivae quick, easy and nearly pain free.

What Causes Inconsistent Pigmentation and/or Darkening of the Gum Tissue?

Even when the gingival tissue is healthy, inconsistent pigmentation can develop. Gingival hyperpigmentation usually occurs when there is an over-abundance of melanin in the gum tissue.

Melanin is the natural-occurring chemical that determines an individual’s eye, hair and skin color. Melanin is also responsible for protecting the skin and gingival tissues from irritants. It is melanin that causes the skin to darken during exposure to harmful UV rays, this darkening occurs as a defense mechanism and is designed to protect the skin: The same is true when melanin darkens the gum tissue.

While there are a variety of reasons that gingival hyperpigmentation develops, this condition is not linked to any serious health issues.

Causes of hyperpigmentation include:

  • medical conditions that increase the production of melanin;
  • endocrine disorders (e.g., Addison’s disease) that can cause darkening of the gingivae;
  • antimalarial medications and minocycline, among others;
  • tobacco usage (chewing and smoking);
  • poor dental hygiene;
  • a genetic predisposition; and
  • other irritants.

When darkening of the gingivae occurs due to smoking, this condition is referred to as ‘smoker’s melanosis.’ If the individual chooses to stop smoking, as time passes, the color of his or her gingivae will lighten.

Sometimes, an over-production of melanin is not the cause of darkened gum tissue. An outside factor may be affecting the color of the gums. For example, a metallic substance may unintentionally become embedded within the gingivae during a dental treatment (e.g., the removal or creation of a filling). This embedded piece of metal could cause the area of the gum in which it rests to appear discolored. In addition, serious forms of gum disease (e.g., trench mouth) can lead to darkened gingival tissue.

Addressing Excess Melanin with Laser Gum Depigmentation/Gum Bleaching in Miami, Near the Keys

When darkened gingival tissue is caused by too much melanin, laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching is the least invasive way to permanently remove this pigmentation. Dr. Lamas performs this innovative procedure at his Miami office, which is located near the Florida Keys. Using this state-of-the-art gum bleaching procedure, Dr. William P. Lamas eliminates discolored, blotchy and/or hyperpigmented gum tissue.

What is the Laser Gum Depigmentation/Gum Bleaching Procedure Like?

This state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive procedure allows Dr. Lamas to treat hyperpigmentation without creating incisions or placing sutures. For comparison purposes, the laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching treatment is similar to the laser skin resurfacing procedures that are used to diminish the signs of aging and eliminate skin imperfections, except this laser treatment is used on the gingival tissue as opposed to on the skin of the face.

These gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedures offer dental patients a quick, minimally-invasive option for improving the aesthetics of their gingival tissue along with a swift healing process that has very little discomfort.

Is the Laser Gum Bleaching Procedure Performed at Lamas Dental Specialists, Near the Keys, Safe?

Yes, Dr. Lamas performs the laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedure that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of gingival hyperpigmentation. This procedure is both safe and effective.

Does this Gum Depigmentation/Gum Bleaching Treatment Hurt?

The pain associated with this procedure is minimal. Prescription medication for pain is not required following treatment. Dr. Lamas’ patients state that the most common symptoms they experienced following their laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedure were mild discomfort and itching.

The Traditional Gum Depigmentation Procedure vs Laser Gum Depigmentation/Gum Bleaching

Many people with gingival hyperpigmentation feel self-conscious about the way their gums look and choose to have gum depigmentation treatments to eliminate variations in their gum tissue or to address overly-dark tissue. Gum bleaching treatments are specifically designed to give the patient’s gingival tissue a more uniform appearance; thus, improving his or her smile.

Two procedures that have been used to treat gingival hyperpigmentation are traditional gum depigmentation and laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching. These two procedures may offer the same results; however, the procedures themselves are different in many ways.

Traditional gum depigmentation surgery vs laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching, the differences:

  • Traditional gum depigmentation surgery

    – prior to the development of lasers for use in the dental industry, the variances in pigmentation of the gingival tissue were treated using a long, arduous and painful procedure that required the use of a specially-designed rotary tool and scalpels. During this traditional gum depigmentation surgical procedure, the top layers of gum tissue would be scraped away to reveal the lighter tissue that lies beneath. The recovery process following this surgical procedure was lengthy as well.

  • Laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedure

    – today, minimally-invasive gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedures are used to address gingival hyperpigmentation. During this revolutionary procedure, a laser is used to lighten areas of the gingivae that are comparatively darker than the rest.

At Lamas Dental Specialists, which is located in Miami near the Florida Keys, Dr. William P. Lamas uses a laser instead of a scalpel to remove any discolored gingival tissue. Laser gum bleaching is a much less invasive procedure than the traditional surgical method. Another benefit of treating hyperpigmentation with lasers is that these treatments are almost pain free.

What to Expect During Your Complimentary Initial Consultation

During your initial consultation, Dr. Lamas will ask you a variety of questions related to your medical history. He also needs to know if you are taking any medications, herbal supplements and/or vitamins.

The answers to these questions will help him determine how your hyperpigmentation should be addressed. If your gingival hyperpigmentation is caused by a medication you are taking, you may be able to ask your physician to change your medication to one that does not cause an increase in your body’s melanin production.

To ensure optimal results, prior to your procedure, Dr. William P. Lamas will want the rest of your mouth healthy; therefore, Dr. Lamas will perform an oral examination.

If he sees any issues, treatment for those issues will be recommended first. For example, if you have gum disease, Dr. William P. Lamas may recommend a Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®) to remove the diseased gingival tissue, which will clear up the infection, or he may just prescribe an antibiotic: Sometimes, he will do both.

If you are a good candidate for laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching and you do not need any other treatments before your procedure, you should be able to move forward with your treatment right away. Although multiple sessions can be performed to achieve the desired results, many patients only need one session to reach their aesthetic goals.

In addition, if you have gingival hyperpigmentation and a gummy smile, talk to Dr. Lamas about your options for addressing both of these issues. Each issue can be addressed with a laser treatment at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, near the Florida Keys.

If you decide to have Dr. William P. Lamas perform your treatment at his office near the keys, he will create you a personalized treatment plan. Also, at this time, our insurance coordinator will check your dental benefits.

How is Laser Gum Depigmentation/Gum Bleaching Performed?

Dr. Lamas uses energy emitted from a specially-designed dental laser to destroy the outer layer of cells on the gum tissue. Destroying this uppermost layer reveals the lighter tissue lying beneath. Once the upper layer of dark cells has been destroyed, the excess color is eliminated as well.

Procedure steps:

Before beginning the procedure, Dr. William P. Lamas will examine your mouth again. He will examine your gum tissue to make sure that you do not have decay, gum disease or any other type of infection in your mouth that needs to be addressed. If Dr. Lamas finds tooth decay or infection, the procedure will need to be rescheduled until these issues have been fully addressed; however, if no issues are detected, the procedure may begin.

A laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedure at Lamas Dental Specialists, near the Florida Keys, usually takes less than 60 minutes to complete. The length of time this procedure will take depends on the coloration of the patient’s gingival tissue. For example, an individual with very dark gums may be receiving treatment the entire 60 minutes; whereas, an individual with lighter gingival tissue only needs a 35-minute session to attain the desired results.

Step 1

A topical anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area. By numbing this area, Dr. William P. Lamas knows that you will remain comfortable throughout your treatment session.

Step 2

With a dental laser, discolored areas of the gingivae are targeted and thin layers of the gum tissue in these specific areas are carefully removed.

Step 3

The removal of the thin layers of gum tissue continues until the gum tissue appears lighter. Since Dr. Lamas is essentially removing excess pigment, he is basically ‘bleaching’ your gums.

No sedatives are used during these treatment sessions; therefore, patients can drive themselves home following their procedure.

The results attained with this gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedure in Miami, near the Florida Keys, can last for the rest of your life.

Recovering from Laser Gum Depigmentation/Gum Bleaching

Since Dr. Lamas treated your hyperpigmentation using a dental laser instead of a scalpel, you should experience little to no bleeding or swelling. Some patients do experience mild tenderness after their procedure; however, over-the-counter medications like Advil or Tylenol can address this symptom. For your safety, unless already discussed, if you take other medications, be sure to check with your physician and/or your pharmacist to ensure that you can take any given pain medication.

Dr. William P. Lamas may prescribe you a mouth rinse that is designed to assist with keeping your gums clean as they heal: The entire healing process is usually complete within 2 weeks’ time.

There are no food or beverage restrictions following your laser gum depigmentation/gum bleaching procedure.

Most patients return to school or work directly after their procedure.

How Much Does a Laser Gum Depigmentation/Gum Bleaching Treatment Cost?

The cost of a gum bleaching treatment depends on each patient’s specific circumstances. The only way that Dr. William P. Lamas can determine how much your bleaching treatment will cost is to evaluate your gums. Since he offers complimentary, no obligation, initial consultations, just contact his office today at 305-440-4114 to schedule your appointment and see if this revolutionary gum depigmentation/gum bleaching treatment is a good option for you.

Why People Choose Lamas Dental Specialists

Dr. William P. Lamas has been serving South Florida as a leading periodontist for more than 20 years. He and his staff are dedicated to providing those in Miami and its surrounding communities, including the Keys, with the most advanced dentistry techniques available. If you reside in or around the Miami area and you would like to learn more about how Dr. Lamas can help you improve your smile, contact Lamas Dental Specialists at 305-440-4114 to schedule your free consultation.