What Causes Black Gums in Yorkshire Terrier?

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Looking out for significant changes in Yorkshire terrier’s behavior, body, and appearance makes it easier for people to detect possible health risks and problems. One of the few things to look out for is Yorkshire terrier’s gum color. People often ask, what causes black gums in Yorkshire terriers?

Here’s what you need to find out.  

What Causes Black Gums in Yorkshire Terrier?

Yorkshire terriers have naturally black gums due to the black pigment in their mucus membrane within their gums. This black pigment came from Yorkie’s genetics since their coats have black and tan colors.

Yorkshire terrier with cute collar and ribbon

While there are dog breeds other than Yorkshire terriers that have naturally black gums, most dog breeds usually have their gums in pink color. Black or dark-colored gums usually indicate health problems for a lot of dog breeds. With that, it is important to check for additional signs other than gum discoloration. 

Health Risks in Having Unnaturally Black Gums in Yorkshire Terriers

Despite having natural black gums, Yorkies are not immune to gum discoloration. Even though it might be hard to detect if Yorkshire terriers’ gums have turned into unnaturally black gums, other signs such as bad breath and plaque buildup can be observed. Here are some of the possible health risks incorporated with unnaturally black gums in Yorkies:

  • Gum disease – Yorkies can have unusually black gums due to oral problems with the early signs of bad breath and gum bleeding.
  • Skin disease – skin disease and discoloration can also affect Yorkie’s gum color which can turn into black over time.
  • Gingivitis – aside from black gums, gingivitis can characterize with formation of black lines on the gums surrounding Yorkie’s teeth which can also cause inflammation.
  • Periodontal tumors – tumors can grow within Yorkie’s periodontal area which can cause dark discoloration of their gums. These tumors can be cancerous so veterinary supervision needs in these kinds of cases.
  • Melanoma – melanoma is the most common type of oral tumor or cancer in Yorkies. This can also detect through dark gum discoloration.

Things to Do for Yorkshire Terriers With Unusually Black Gums

Dog’s health can reflect through their gum color and oral condition. Finding out whether or not Yorkshire terriers suffer from unnatural black gums or other gum discoloration is the first step towards the process of maintaining their overall health. With that, there are a lot of necessary steps to do so Yorkshire terriers can prevent diseases that come with gum discoloration and poor oral condition.

Being knowledgeable about the possible symptoms characterized by their gum’s change in color can help with detecting early health conditions and diseases that can be fatal for them. Thus, in order to have a healthy and happy life ahead, one should be able to address their needs and maintain their needs, especially in their oral health.

Cute Yorkshire terrier showing her tongue

Check Their Gums and Oral Condition

The best and simplest way to detect problems such as black gum discoloration is to always monitor Yorkshire terrier’s oral health and gum condition. For instance, looking out if your Yorkshire terriers have bad breath, plaque buildup, as well as gum bleeding can prevent gum discoloration especially in its early stages.

Moreover, you can create a better oral health regime for your Yorkies if oral problems like mentioned are detected early. You can easily address their oral problems particularly though veterinary supervision as black gums are a significant sign of a more serious and dangerous health issue that should address immediately.

Maintain a Good Oral Condition

Black gums usually occur because of poor oral health conditions, particularly in Yorkshire terriers. Maintaining their oral health at its best will prevent problems like gum discoloration and other serious health issues to occur. Here are some of the best ways to maintain a good oral condition among Yorkshire terriers:

  • Brush Yorkshire terrier’s teeth at least twice daily or three times a week minimum to prevent plaque buildup and bad breath. You can brush their teeth using regular dog teeth brushes you can find in pet shops.
  • If your Yorkie is not fond of toothbrushes, you can use dog tooth wipes. It uses to wipe off the plaques in their teeth. This can be a good alternative to Yorkshire terriers who hate having their teeth brushed to maintain their oral health.
  • Offer Yorkshire terriers dog dental treats available in pet shops. These treats specifically design to keep plaques away from Yorkie’s teeth and improve their breath.
  • You can get dog chews for your Yorkies to play with as most of them have teeth-cleaning properties which can help maintain their oral health.
  • Make your Yorkies undergo a professional cleaning every once in a while. This to ensure their overall oral health as veterinarians are the most capable to detect problems that we cannot observe.

Create a Healthier Diet

Yorkshire terrier’s diet is one of the most crucial things to consider especially with regards to their overall wellbeing, particularly their oral health. You can choose a dental diet approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). If you want to focus on taking care of yorkshire terrier’s dental and oral health.

In addition, you can avoid foods that are prone to stick to Yorkie’s teeth such as cereals and grains. Instead, you can feed them foods like meat, vegetables, and fruits that are safe from them. It will not only help prevent plaque buildup.

Moreover, it will also give them various vitamins and minerals that can boost their health.

Little Yorkshire terrier playing in garden

Related Questions

Why Is My Dog’s Gums Turning Black?

Gum discoloration characterized by black spots, unusual gum color, or black lines are common signs of oral cancer or other serious oral diseases. Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers among dogs. Which is why it is important to always monitor dog’s oral health and maintain their dental conditions.

What Color Are Yorkie’s Gums Supposed to Be?

Yorkshire terrier’s gums are genetically dark in color. In Yorkie’s case, their gums are black because their coats are usually black, if not than or reddish, in color.  Dog’s gums can have different colors depending on their genes.

However, black or dark gums in dogs can be a significant indication of health and oral problems.


Yorkshire terriers have naturally black gums that run in their genetic breed. However, they can also suffer from health conditions characterized by black gum discoloration if their oral health is compromised. Thus, it is necessary to maintain their oral conditions to prevent health problems such as oral cancer and gum disease.