What is a Discolored Filling?
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.
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.
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 • Smoking
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
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.