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Gum Diseases

Very bad breath



i looked at my front teeth in the mirror and noticed on the top of the tooth just below the gums there seems to be like a brown line and i want to know if this contributes to the smell and if it has a name.


Brown line can be a physiological pigmentation based on race. This should continue around all teeth and should not be localized only on one tooth.

Brown line close to gingival margin may represent subgingival calculus and having subgingival calculus and plaque may cause bad breath.

Brown line around the gingival margin may represent metal margin of a crown if you have such restoration on the tooth.

If it is a local color change and you did not notice before and especially if it is not symmetrical, It needs to be evaluated for any pathological lesion. In this cases, generally dentist prefers to take a biopsy and send it to the lab to be examined.


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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University