A discolored filling is a tooth filling that gets dark as it ages. The dark appearance may be around the edge of the tooth, underneath the filling or within the filling itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What causes a Discolored Filling?
Discolored fillings may be caused by leaking around the edges of a filling or staining from things we put in our mouth. When fluids leak underneath a filling, staining and decay may develop. Leakage may appear as a dark line around the edge of the filling or a dark area underneath the filling itself. White fillings may turn a darker color over time from smoking, drying out or exposure to high staining foods or drinks.
2. Who is at high risk for a Discolored Filling?
Some people are more susceptible to having a discolored filling. The risk factors for a discolored filling are:
- Older fillings
- Open edges or gaps between the filling and tooth
- Decay under or around the filling
- Poor oral hygiene
- Exposure to high staining drinks such as coffee, tea and red wine
3. What can I do to minimize my risk of having a Discolored Filling in the future?
To minimize your risk of a discolored filling, there are some important things you must do on your own.
Here are some things that may be recommended:
- Carefully clean your teeth every day, as recommended by your dentist and hygienist
- Have your dentist check your fillings regularly
- Replace old fillings that are leaking or turning dark
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned regularly
- Limit high staining foods and drinks
- Do not smoke
4. What will happen if I choose to do nothing about my Discolored Filling?
If the discoloration is due to a leaking filling, dental decay will eventually develop. If left alone for too long, the tooth may need a root canal treatment or extraction. If the discolored filling is caused by staining, the filling will continue to darken and become more unsightly over time.