Objective: Gingival colour plays one of the most important parts in aesthetic dentistry. There are many reasons on why alteration of the gingival colour occurs, most commonly being racial pigmentation and smoker’s melanosis.
Aims: To study the prevalence of smoker’s melanosis and racial pigmentation in gingiva.
Materials and Methods: Previous articles, literature and research studies which studied the effects of race and smoking on gingival pigmentation were reviewed.
Results: Evaluating the results of previously conducted studies, the literature review revealed that there is a significant relationship between smoking and the presence of gingival pigmentation. Individuals who smoke exhibit a more pronounced and heightened gingival pigmentation as compared to those who do not smoke. Smoker's melanosis has been proven to be a very common complication in smoking. As for racial pigmentation, all studies reviewed indicate that the darker the skin tone within the same race or in comparison to other races, the higher the prevalence gingival pigmentation. This is due to the more active melanocytes as well as an increase in melanogenesis.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the two most common causes of gingival pigmentation stand to be racial pigmentation as well as smoker's melanosis. The presence of these factors shows to have a positive relationship with the prevalence of gingival pigmentation.