Gingival pigmentation has intrigued clinicians and researchers alike owing to its numerous etiologies of origin and the difficulties faced in its absolute elimination. It is defined as the discoloration of the gingiva due to lesions and conditions associated with numerous extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Melanin is the most commonly implicated pigment in gingival pigmentation. Numerous attempts have been made by various authors to classify gingival melanin pigmentation.
Over the years, with an increasing demand for esthetics, the treatment of pigmented lesions of the gingiva has gained significance. Although, gingival pigmentation is not a pathologic problem, patients usually request cosmetic therapy, particularly, if the pigmentation is visible during speech and smiling. Various methods, including gingivectomy, gingivectomy with free gingival autografts, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemotherapy with 90% phenol or 95% ethyl alcohol, abrasion with bur, semiconductor diode laser, and CO2 lasers have been used with different degrees of success in the treatment of gingival pigmentation. More recent techniques involve the use of ascorbic acid and also Acellular Dermal Matrix allograft.
The present paper aims to highlight the conventional as well as more novel techniques for the treatment of gingival pigmentation and also lay emphasis upon the significance of each.