Denture Gum Shade Guide: Images, Videos & How to use

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

The denture gum shade guide is a color guide that is used for choosing the gum color of your denture base acrylic. There are four standard colors for you to choose from but you can also do a custom mix or blend of gingival shade if needed.

Denture gum shade guide - L199 OR, LRP, LT, Dark
Denture gum shade guide – L199 OR, LRP, LT, Dark

We will explain everything that you need to know about this gum color guide for dentures, including how to use it, when to use it, and why you need to know about it.

What is the denture gum shade guide?

The denture gum shade guide is used to choose a color for the gums of your denture. It is the equivalent of a tooth color shade guide when you pick a color for your crown or veneer.

Denture gum shade guide - stacked together vertically

Dentures aren’t solely composed of teeth because the bulk or the base of the acrylic of which the denture teeth sit on are the denture gums. The gingiva or gum color can be chosen and made in whatever color you like.

Below is an image showing what we’re talking about when we say denture base or denture gums. The arrows point to the structures that we’re talking about.

Denture with denture base and acrylic marked with arrows

However, most people typically choose a shade that closely matches their natural gum color.

What this shade guide can be used for:

Four gum shades

The most popular popular denture acrylic shade guide is by Dentsply Sirona called Lucitone 199 and it comes in four standard colors.

Dentsply sirona lucitone 199 in package
Denture Shade NameGum Color
L-199 OROriginal
L-199 LTLight Pink
L-199 LRPLight Reddish Pink
L-199 DARKDark Pink
Table: 199 Shade guide and their color equivalent

If your gums do not match any of these four colors, your dentist can do a customized color. They can blend or mix two different colors to get the right shade for your mouth.

Video comparison

Below is a video where we compare each of the denture gum colors to an actual denture.

How it’s used

The gingival shade guide for dentures is used by holding up each shade tab against the patient’s gums. Your dentist will scroll through each gum color until the both of you decide that this color is the one which matches your gum color.

When do I choose the color?

Typically, you get to choose the color of your choice from the denture base shade guide during the second to last denture appointment. It is literally the last thing you do before your dentist sends the entire case to the dental lab for processing to finish.

Denture gum shade guide - lined up view

In other words, the appointment where you select the color is essentially last call for any alterations that you may want. Once the dentures have been processed to finish, there will be no more alterations possible.

Exception: The only thing you can alter afterwards would be adjusting the bite or occlusion. That is if you feel like the denture are hitting hard or the bite feels high. That is the only thing that can be altered.

Can I darken or lighten the color afterwards?

Unfortunately, once you’ve selected the gum color for your denture and it has been completed, you cannot change the color afterwards. There is no way to light or darken the gingiva for your brand new false teeth once they are finished.

What you can’t do:

  • Make the gum color lighter.
  • Make the gum color darker.

The only way to alter the shade of the denture gums is by redoing it all over again from step 1 of the denture process. That is the unfortunate truth and is also why it is incredibly important to choose the right color in the first place.

In case you were wondering, NO, you can’t whiten the dentures by bleaching them either. Fake teeth do not whiten no matter what you use on it whether that be at home OTC products or professional strength materials.

Most common shade

The default color for the gums on dentures would be the L-199 OR, the original color. As a matter of fact, if you don’t choose a color, that is the standard shade which the dental lab will make it in since it is the most common one.

You may be surprised but some people don’t’ care about the gum color at all. It’s just the color of the denture teeth which they’re more concerned about.


The shade guide for denture gums is used to choose a color for the acrylic base of the dentures. If you don’t choose a color, the gum color may not match your natural color.

There are four different shades for you to choose from but if none of them fit, you can ask for a customized color blend from your dentist.


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