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Gum Diseases

Black around a cap tooth

03/26/2007

Question:

I`ve notice that the gum under my lower back teeth (Capped when i was a child) is black. From the look of it, its all around that tooth. It doesn`t hurt or anything. Its just black under that tooth. Should I be concern.

Answer:

I would have your primary care dentist evaluate the site. They have probably noted this in their chart notes.

What you are describing may be the result of dental restorative material that is within the gingiva (gum tissue). The material may be amalgam that has a high silver content, and the silver alloy is oxidizing and forming a black discoloration within the tissue. This is commonly referred to as "Amalgam Tattoo".

This occurs sometimes when a tooth is prepared for a crown and the substrate under the crown has amalgam filling material in it. The silver oxidizes, and if it is within the tissue, can cause the surrounding tissue to discolor or become black.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University