Your dental crown has been serving you well for years, keeping your tooth safe while also letting you smile with confidence. However, lately you’ve noticed that a black line has appeared at the edge. This can be alarming, especially if you don’t know what’s causing it. Luckily, your dentist can explain where the black line came from and what solutions are available.
Why is There a Black Line Around Your Dental Crown?
Black lines typically occur when a crown is made out of porcelain fused to metal (PFM). This type of restoration has a durable, sturdy metal interior covered by a shell of natural-looking porcelain, allowing you to take advantage of the benefits that both materials have to offer.
Over time, the porcelain layer will gradually wear away, causing the metal underneath to become more visible. The result is a black line near wear the crown meets the gums. Consequently, it will be much more obvious that you have had dental work done.
On rare occasions, the black line might actually be a consequence of an oral health issue such as tooth decay or gum recession. For this reason, it’s recommended that you see your dentist as soon as possible. They’ll be able to narrow down what’s causing the black line and determine whether it’s just a cosmetic problem or a sign of something more serious.
What Can You Do About a Black Line Around Your Crown?
Oftentimes, the answer is as simple as getting a new crown. While you could have another PFM crown placed, you may also want to consider a restoration made out of a different material. Talk to your dentist to see what options they offer for natural-looking crowns.
If the black line was caused by tooth decay or another oral health issue, then you’ll likely need to have specific treatments performed to protect your oral health. For example, severe decay might call for root canal therapy.
How Can You Take Care of Your Crown?
No crown stays in perfect shape forever, but there are ways you can delay a black line from forming. Always remember to:
- Brush your crown at least two times a day to prevent decay-causing plaque and tartar from forming.
- Wear a nightguard so that you don’t wear down your crown by clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep.
- Use scissors and other tools to open packages instead of your teeth.
- Visit your dentist twice a year so that they can evaluate your crown and determine whether it might need to be replaced soon.
Remember that even with proper care, your crown will still become worn down as time passes. Keep an eye on your restoration so that you can act quickly if a black line starts to form. Be proactive about keeping your smile looking natural!
About the Author
Dr. Melody Stampe has spent more than 30 years enhancing the lives of her patients by keeping their smiles healthy. She is a proud member of various dental organizations, including the Texas Dental Association and the American Academy of Facial Esthetics. She has extensive experience in using crowns to rebuild damaged teeth. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Stampe at CityLine Dental Center in Richardson, visit her website or call (972) 231-9499.