Saturday, January 28

Ethnic Pigmentation: Why Laser Gum Bleaching Is A Bad Idea

In the past, if you had an unusual shade of gum pigmentation, you were out of luck if you wanted to get rid of it. Today, we have much more advanced technology at our disposal, but that doesn’t mean using lasers is the right way to go! Read on to find out why laser gum bleaching may not be your best option when it comes to ethnic pigmentation.

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What Is Laser-Assisted Gum Bleaching?

Also known as laser gum bleaching, it’s just what it sounds like – your dentist or doctor uses a laser to lighten your gums. The idea behind it is to get rid of dark pigments that give your teeth that extra coffee-stained look. Now, there are different types of lasers (carbon dioxide and nitrogen lasers) but generally speaking, you have to remember that everything in life comes at a cost. There are also many downsides to laser gum bleaching that you need to consider before having any work done.

When Should I Get This Treatment Done?

Lasers that are advertised to treat gum bleaching/ethnic pigmentation do not always work as well as you might think. For example, if your teeth are too dark for other types of whitening procedures, those same lasers may not help at all. In fact, research has shown that people with darker skin may actually be at an increased risk of gum tissue damage. Because ethnic pigmentation tends to run in families, laser therapy can be risky because some people have a genetic predisposition to accelerated melanin production or increased sensitivity to pain/irritation. Bottom line: If you’re considering laser whitening, talk to your dentist before committing (or committal). He or she will know best whether it’s right for you and your smile.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Laser-Assisted Gum Bleaching?

While laser-assisted gum bleaching may sound like an effective treatment for people with excessive pigmentation on their gums, there are actually a number of potential side effects from using it. The most obvious issue arises from heating melanocytes, which could damage or kill them. This would cause your body to produce more melanocytes (because it would believe that there was a lack of melanin), resulting in increased pigmentation throughout your body over time. The reason lasers are used in laser-assisted gum bleaching is that they can penetrate through the skin very quickly to destroy parts of your gums and cause damage to nearby organs and blood vessels if they aren’t used carefully — but these same lasers could potentially heat other parts of your body as well if care isn’t taken.

Is There A Better Way To Remove Pigmented Tissue?

One of many reasons why laser teeth whitening isn’t recommended for gums is that it’s been proven ineffective. When lasers are used to remove melanin from skin or hair, they vaporize it. There’s no such thing as vaporized gum tissue. No matter how powerful your laser, you can’t make something disappear with light — only heat up and destroy it.

Final Thoughts:

The problem with lasers is that they don’t just target and kill only melanocytes, but also other types of cells in your gum tissue. In extreme cases, one too many laser sessions can burn away enough tissue to leave holes or divots in your gums. That doesn’t mean you should never try laser gum bleaching — but it does mean you need to do it under professional supervision and avoid going overboard. Also, keep in mind that laser technology for teeth whitening has changed quite a bit since its introduction into dentistry in 1993. Consult your dentist for more information about current protocols for gum bleaching with lasers, as well as any viable alternatives to remove dark pigmentation from around your gums.

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