Removing Black Lines on Teeth

Black lines on the gum line of teeth are a noticeable blemish on your pearly whites. Black lines can appear for a number of reasons. From not maintaining good oral hygiene to consuming certain foods and drinks or even a chemical imbalance in the body. They can also be a sign of an underlying tooth issue. And, if you have a black line on dental crowns, the black base of an old metallic-fused crown may in fact be showing.

If you have a black line or mark appearing on the gum line of your tooth, you’ve come to the right place. Getting black lines on teeth removed first depends on diagnosing the underlying cause. Then it relies on finding the best solution to treat and return teeth to their former brilliance.   

Black lines caused by tartar build up

Plaque forms naturally on teeth, particularly near the gum lines. If not removed through brushing and flossing, this plaque will calcify and harden into tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist. This tartar can appear black in some cases, for example, if levels of copper or iron in your body are high.

A dentist can remove the black tartar build up through a dental exam clean and recommend correct brushing and flossing techniques to prevent further build up.

Black stains or tooth discolouration

If an entire tooth has turned black or grey, it can be from external factors such as the food or drink you consume (red wine and coffee are known culprits). It could also be due to an underlying tooth issue. Chipped or cracked enamel on the tooth surface can lead to staining in the inner layers of the tooth such as the dentin layer.

Identifying the root cause of the internal and external factors is required first to prevent further staining. Then, a number of treatments such as teeth whitening, or porcelain veneers can act to return teeth to their original colour.

Black lines on dental crowns

A common cause of black lines on teeth occurs where people have had dental crowns applied. Older style crowns often use a porcelain coating fused to a metallic base. This porcelain coating can wear down exposing the metallic base which appears black or a greyish blue at the gum line.

Black lines under crowns can also be a sign of gum disease and gum recession. Receding gums expose the base of the crown revealing the metallic base or original tooth underneath which can often appear black.

Steps to take if black lines appear on your crown:

If you notice a black line appearing under a tooth with crown in place, the following treatment options exist depending on the cause:

  1. Address Gum recession – If gum recession has begun, it needs to be addressed immediately to prevent further deterioration of your oral health. It may also prevent further black lines from appearing at the gum line under any other crowns you may have.
  2. Address Tooth decay – If the original tooth under the crown has decayed, this should be treated to maintain the stability of the crown and assess further options such as a replacement crown or a dental implant. 
  3. Get a replacement crown – Newer style, dental crowns do not have a metallic base so there is no way the crown itself can cause a black line to appear. However, if the underlying tooth is black or is experiencing decay a black line may still appear.
  4. Consider dental implants – Dental implants replace both the crown and the root of the tooth. They look, act and function like real teeth and there is no chance of a black line appearing at the base of your tooth as a result of the implant. Dental implants can replace one, many or all of your teeth depending on your dental needs.

If you have a black line on your tooth it is worth getting it checked to address poor tooth structure, oral hygiene and lifestyle factors that might be causing this. From there it pays to get the right advice to consider what treatment will leave you with a blemish free and healthy smile.

Dr Finkelstein Dentist in Sydney CBD has experience in addressing black lines appearing under crowns. We only use all ceramic crowns and ensure a perfect fit so you can be certain these won’t cause black lines from appearing. Also, Dr Finkelstein highly recommends dental implants for replacement teeth and can provide the right advice on if this is appropriate for your oral health and overall well-being.

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