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Normal Mouth Pigmentation

A black spot on a cat's gums is most likely normal pigmentation if it is flat and does not change in size over time.

A black spot on a cat's gums is most likely normal pigmentation if it is flat and does not change in size over time.

Q. My 3-year-old Scottish Fold has one black spot in his mouth, just behind his lower front teeth. I first noticed it about a year ago. It hasn’t gotten larger, to the best of my knowledge, and the rest of his gums and mouth look healthy and pink. He doesn’t have any problems eating; however, I am wondering if this is something I should be concerned about. He sometimes has a sweet-tooth. I do feed him occasionally the peanut butter from the inside of candy peanut butter cups or little bites of a cookie and ice cream. I never let him have chocolate. I would be most appreciative if you have any insight to share with me as to what this black spot might be.

A. Thank you so much for the dental question a topic that is right up my alley! I am assuming from your description, that this black spot is on the tissue behind the teeth (the mucosa), and not on the teeth or a particular tooth itself. In all likelihood, this is just a normal area of pigmentation.

It will be important for you to make sure that it is not raised, like some moles that appear on humans. Also, check the tissue around this black spot, as it should not appear red, irritated or likely to bleed easily. It is also important to make sure that it is staying the same size. The fact that it has stayed the same size for a year now is good news. If it seems to be flat and innocuous, then it is just an area of pigmentation, so don’t worry. Still, I would have your veterinarian take a peek at it the next time you are in for a visit. 

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