As you look back on your summer of adventures, you take a close look at the photos you’ve taken with loved ones. In a selfie where you smiled particularly wide, you see a black line around your dental crown near the gumline that is still there.
How did this black line develop? What does it mean? How can you fix it? Answer these and other questions by continuing to read this post!
What Is That Black Line?
Black, brown, or dark gray on teeth usually indicates that a cavity is eroding the tooth. Although your dental crown is impervious to decay-causing bacteria, the natural tooth underneath is still susceptible to cavities. As a result, the black line at the base of your dental crown often means that you have decay developing there.
Without treatment, your tooth, in addition to looking unnatural, could become painful. In fact, the decay can progress and engulf the entire tooth, spread to other teeth, or even cause a potentially life-threatening infection. In other words, if you see a black line under your crown, you need to reach out to your dentist right away.
Getting Rid of the Black Line
Once your trusted dentist has had the opportunity to examine you and take X-rays of the tooth, they will likely need to remove the crown in order to remove the decayed portions of your tooth. If possible, they will provide another dental crown to protect and cover the tooth after treatment. However, depending on how much damage the tooth has sustained, more invasive treatment (like tooth extraction and replacement) may be needed, but these solutions are reserved for more extreme cases.
Preventing Black Lines Around Your Crowns
You have a large role in making sure your crowns, as well as the teeth beneath them, stay in good shape. Fortunately, maintaining your crowns is exactly the same as caring for real teeth. Daily brushing and flossing can clear away plaque, while eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water can limit the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Six-month visits to your dentist are also required so that they can check your restorations for any damage or sign of trouble.
In the end, you should do your best to avoid getting a black line around your dental crown and shouldn’t ignore it if it does happen to you. By acting quickly and addressing the problem, you can perhaps preserve your tooth with a more effective crown and keep your smile in healthy, strong condition.
About the Author
At Plum Grove Family Dental, Dr. Ye Wang has been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years. After earning her degree at the Beijing University of Dental Medicine, she came to the United States and completed her education at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. She cares deeply about the health and satisfaction of every patient and looks forward to catching up with them at hygiene appointments as well as checking their restorations and teeth. If you are concerned about the condition of your crowns, you may contact Dr. Wang by calling the office at 847-221-5860 or clicking on the Contact Us page here.