Why Are my Gums Black After Dental Implants Have Been Placed?

I just had two dental implants placed a month ago after missing two teeth for several years. I noticed that the gum tissue surrounding the two implants has turned to a darker gray color. Is that normal? Is it because a poor quality of metal was used? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Dark area on gums around dental implants

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All dental implants are made of titanium and have intrinsic metal color. The gum tissue can appear darker or more gray in the following situations:

  1. If your gum tissue is really thin with transparency allowing the metal color to come through
  2. If the implant is placed to close to the gum tissue level
  3. If there is bone loss along with gum tissue recession allowing implant to show through

Depending on the source of the problem, you can do one of the following:

  1. Have your dentist use ceramic abutments and crowns to help mask the metal show
  2. Bone and / or soft tissue grafting if appropriate
  3. Perhaps during expsoure of the implant, the surgeon can manipulate the tissue and make it thicker in the front to help mask the metal color.

Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Most dental implants are made from Titanium metal

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Some newer implants are made from Zirconium, but are so new we can't tell how they will be long term.  If the tissue is thin, some grey may show through.  If the alignment pinches the tissues, or if cement was left behind, some discoloration may happen.

If it is minor, it is likely not an issue long term.  Express your concerns to your dentist, but without photos and xrays, it is impossible to tell for sure if there is a problem.

Dark gums following implants

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Your situation is not uncommon. Thin gum tissue combined with metal (titanium) implants will often show through. If you have not had the permanent crown made yet, it may be possible to change the titanium implant head for a Ziconium head which is tooth colored and eliminate the grey show through.

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist

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Dark shadow around implants

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Dear TicaGaga, 

You had your implants placed only a month ago. It's very likely that what you're seeing is cover screws or healing abutments that are placed on top of the implants right after surgery to prevent your gum tissue from growing inside the implant body. If your gum tissue is thin and the implants are placed too shallow, you could see that gray shadow. I would address your concerns with your dentist.

Valentina Lyssova, DDS
New York Dentist

Black gums after dental implants

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You have to remember that the color of titanium implants in the mouth is black.  When they are inserted the implants are placed deep in the gum to hide them.  If the implant is not deep enough or becomes exposed the metal shows through,  This was true with metal/porcelain crowns of the past as well, as well as amalgam fillings.  Today we have an alternative in the form of Ceramic Implants, white implants that do not give the gums a darkened color and are healthier for the gums. 

Dan Hagi, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Black gums after dental implants

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Unfortunately this is a common problem. It's not a question of poor implant metal quality but more a question of how your body's jawbone and gums have responded AFTER the implants and crowns are placed. Ultimately it comes down to treatment planning, surgical technique and crown placement by the dentist. You need to talk to your dentist and also seek the advise of a periodontist who can assess you and give you treatment options to correct this problem before it gets worse

Herbert Veisman, DDS
Toronto Periodontist

Dark gums around dental implants

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The dark colored gingiva is most likely from the collar of the implant showing through thin gum tissue. When implants are placed, one of the most important considerations is the thickness of the surrounding gum tissue, especially in the front of the mouth.  If the tissue is too thin at implant placement and the implant is not placed to the proper depth, a gray / black color will show through the gum tissue ( titanium is gray in color). This can also result in recession of tissue over time. If the implants are in the back of the mouth, the gray is of no consequence unless you get recession. If it is the front of the mouth, and you have a high smile line this will be seen, the only way to correct the situation is a soft tissue graft to thicken the surrounding tissue or rotational tissue flaps using surrounding tissue if there is enough present

In situations where the gum tissue is thin, the implant can be placed deeper to prevent this or soft tissue grafts can be placed to bulk tissue prior to implant placement.  Seeking out an experienced board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon will help you in situations like this

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Dark gums around dental implants

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Whenever the gums are thin, the dark color of the metal implants can show through.   Most dental implants are made from the same metal: Titanium.  Some of the newer ones are made from Zirconia, but those haven't proven themselves over time yet.   There are two situations where this could be an issue:

1. Your dentist needs to make sure that there's no bone loss around the implant.  If bone recedes from the implant it may allow the implant to show through.

2. Hopefully you don't have a "high" smile line, where you show a lot of your gums when smiling.  Otherwise it's a cosmetic concern that you need to explore with your dentist

Best wishes!

Peter Mann, DDS
Manhattan Dentist

Titanium can show through thin gums.

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Hi TicaGaga

This happens if the gum tissue is thin and/or the implant was placed close to the surface of the gum. The implant is made of titanium and imparts a metallic color through the gums.  

I would go to your dentist so he/she can check the area and make sure there is no pathology going on, but otherwise if the color doesn't bother you esthetically you can leave the implant the way it is.

Steve Alper, DMD
New York Dentist

The gingiva around the gums

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The metal used for implants is titanium, which is the best implant material.

There is two reasons for black line around the gum-

one- the implant gives a fake black translucency of the gingiva

second-you might have some kind of reaction to this metal, or any other metal.

Antoaneta Barba, DDS
Santa Ana Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.