Laser Gum Depigmentation in Washington D.C. & Alexandria, VA
Laser gum depigmentation is a safe, effective way to permanently deal with discolored gums.
Laser gum depigmentation is a quick, easy way to restore healthy looking, pink gum color in cases of blotchy, discolored, or hyperpigmented gum tissue.
Dr. Zalewsky and Dr. Hoge provide several cosmetic dental treatments in addition to periodontal disease treatment and dental implants.
What is Gum Hyperpigmentation?
While gum hyperpigmentation is a harmless condition with no link to any serious health conditions, it can be troubling to those who have the condition.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by pockets of melanin that have formed within the gum tissue. Melanin is the natural chemical that creates color; it is responsible for giving eyes, skin, and hair different shades of color, and is also responsible for freckles and darker skin tones. People who have naturally darker skin have more melanin, which means that they are naturally more prone to hyperpigmentation of the gums.
For those who dislike their splotchy or discolored gums, laser gum depigmentation, or gum bleaching, can be performed with a pain free laser process.
Benefits of Laser Gum Bleaching
- Minimal discomfort
- Quick healing
- Improved aesthetics
- Greater confidence
Although hyperpigmentation of gum tissue can make gums look spotted or splotchy, it isn’t dangerous. However, it can affect self-esteem and self-confidence or lead to uncomfortable conversations. Laser gum depigmentation is a simple, effective, and permanent way to resolve gum discoloration.
How Laser Gum Depigmentation Works
To remove pockets of hyperpigmentation, a powerful yet gentle Waterlase laser is utilized to treat the affected areas with bursts of light. This light targets the melanin-containing cells within the tissue, lightening the affected area. After all of the darkened areas have been treated and the gingiva regrows, the tissue will be pink, healthy, and evenly colored.
Laser gum depigmentation is minimally invasive, not requiring incisions or sutures. Lasers can treat melanocytes from outside of the tissue, triggering a regrowth reaction deep within the gums. This transformation is permanent, and patients who undergo laser depigmentation usually do not require a second procedure.
The Laser Bleaching Procedure
Before gum tissue lightening begins, the gum tissue will be checked for infection or periodontal disease. If infection or tooth decay is present, it will be addressed before the cosmetic dental procedure is performed.
A topical anesthetic is applied to the gum tissue to ensure there is no discomfort during the procedure. After the anesthetic has numbed the gums, the laser is used to gently target the discolored areas. Most laser gum depigmentation procedures take under an hour, although length of treatment does vary depending on each patient’s gingival coloration.
After Laser Depigmentation
Recovery after laser gum depigmentation is simple. Patients can eat and drink normally following the procedure, and are able to return to work or school immediately afterward. Since sedatives aren’t typically involved with depigmentation, patients can also drive themselves to and from appointments.
Some patients with more sensitive gums can experience mild tenderness or discomfort following the procedure, although this is rare. Symptoms can be readily treated with mild over-the-counter painkillers, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Dr. Justin Zalewsky, Dr. Michael Hoge, and the Precision Periodontics and Implant Dentistry team offer a range of periodontal treatment options to the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. area, including residents seeking a periodontist in Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Chevy Chase, Falls Church, Fairfax, and Springfield. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zalewsky or Dr. Hoge, or request your appointment online.