A discolored dental filling is a filling that gets dark with time. It can be due to leakage, consuming teeth-staining foods, etc. Decaying starts forming if the discoloration is due to a leaky dental filling. If you leave it for too long, you may require tooth extraction or a root canal.
When your filling gets exposed to a wet environment, it starts breaking down and oxidizing. It results in black filling. During this, the dental filling shrinks and becomes weak. It lets the bacteria move into the spaces and form a new decay. Read below to know the methods to fix discolored tooth filling.
Which People Are at High Risk for a Filling Discoloration?
Few individuals are more prone to having filling discoloration. These includes:
- Bad oral hygiene.
- Open gaps or edges between the tooth and dental filling.
- Exposure to teeth-staining beverages like tea, red wine, coffee, etc.
- Decay around or under the dental filling.
- Previous fillings.
Reason for Discoloration of Fillings
Discolored dental fillings are caused by teeth-staining foods or beverages and leakage around the edges of a dental filling. The leakage usually looks like a dark line or area underneath or around the filling.
Furthermore, if you have white fillings, it may convert into a dark shade with time from drying out, smoking, or exposure to high-staining drinks or foods. The composite filling becomes yellow or stained with time.
You don’t need to always replace your discolored composite dental restoration. A composite dental filling is partly manufactured using plastic resin. The resin becomes porous and looks more yellow or collects stains. However, the discoloration appears on just the surface.
After the dental professional eliminates some microns of the composite dental filling, it looks new. You can extend the lifespan of your composite fillings by following good oral hygiene. But ensure you floss and use the toothbrush correctly.
It may be polished with polishing discs if your dental restoration has staining but no decay. They let the dental filling mix with the tooth naturally, boosting the overall aesthetics. Also, scheduling dental exams and following dental hygiene visits allows you to quickly spot new decay and leakage.
If the filling discoloration is due to staining, it will continue to get dark and become unpleasant with time. The amalgam filling contains a combination of copper, tin, mercury, and silver. The chemicals in the mouth allow the metals in the amalgam to corrode.
In many cases, amalgam shrinks and separates from the tooth. It lets food, sugar, and bacteria attack the tooth, leading to recurrent decay alongside a previous dental filling.
It also causes the silver filling to turn black. Rather than choosing dental amalgam, you can go for fillings like porcelain, composite resin, or gold. Every dental material for dental fillings has its benefits and disadvantages. Porcelain and tooth-colored composite resin are the same as the tooth color and usually do not turn black with time.
The dentist will educate you on the dental fillings material available and let you choose the one that is most appropriate for you. As per ADA, dental amalgam makes up amalgam fillings. It has been used in dentistry for 150 years safely. However, one research has claimed that silver fillings can lead to neurological issues or chronic fatigue-like signs.
However, many studies have failed to find a connection between the medical disorder and amalgam fillings. Only a few percent of patients are allergic to the metal in the dental fillings and face an adverse reaction.
However, the ant-mercury camp says that the American dental association has no evidence to support the claim that mercury is safe. They also said that dental amalgam has never been tested for safety by the FDA.
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How to Fix a Discolored Tooth?
Follow the important tips to reduce the risk of discolored filling in the future:
- Replace your old dental fillings that are dark or leaky.
- Restrict the use of high teeth-staining food and beverages.
- Get your fillings inspected by a dental professional regularly.
- Avoid smoking.
- Get professional teeth cleaning on a routine basis.
If your old black filling makes you feel embarrassed while you talk or smile, consider replacing it with a new filling immediately. Schedule a consultation at Brentwood Dental Arts if you are looking for dental fillings in Brentwood.