The Mystery of the Dark Spot on Your Tooth

No matter how well you take care of your teeth, there may come a time when you notice the presence of dark spots on them. These spots can either appear black or brown. While some types of tooth discoloration and spots are harmless, others may indicate a more serious health issue. If you happen to spot a dark spot on your tooth, it is crucial to schedule an appointment with our expert dentist, Jared Harding, to have your oral health evaluated.

Understanding the Causes of Black Spots on Teeth

To effectively eliminate a small black spot on a tooth, our dentist needs to identify its underlying cause. Several factors can lead to tooth discoloration, such as the appearance of black or brown spots.

Tooth Decay

The most concerning reason for the presence of a black spot on your tooth is tooth decay. This occurs when plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth, allowing bacteria, sugar, and acid to attack the enamel and mineral structure. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to dental caries, which manifest as small holes in your tooth enamel. These holes often appear as black or brown spots on your teeth and may be accompanied by symptoms such as persistent pain, tooth sensitivity, pain while eating, and the presence of small pits or holes.

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Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver diamine fluoride is a non-invasive treatment for cavities that effectively kills bacteria and halts tooth decay. However, it leaves behind a black spot where the decay previously occurred. Although this treatment is not commonly used in adults due to the discoloration it causes, it is sometimes recommended for children with cavities in their baby teeth or those with special needs that make conventional cavity treatment difficult.


Fluorosis occurs when excessive fluoride is consumed during tooth development, usually in childhood. This can happen through drinking fluoridated water, swallowing excessive toothpaste, or taking fluoride-containing vitamin supplements. Fluorosis can cause tooth discoloration in the form of dark spots or white spots on the teeth.

Other Causes for Black Spots on Teeth

Additional reasons for the development of black spots on a tooth include injury to the affected tooth, tartar buildup, stains from certain foods or drinks, smoking, chewing tobacco, and certain medical conditions.

Solutions for Black Spots on Your Teeth

Tooth-Colored, Composite Resin Fillings

If the black spot on your tooth is indicative of tooth decay or is due to an injury, treatment is necessary. Our dentist will first clean the cavity, removing all signs of decay and bacteria. Afterward, the hole is filled with a composite resin filling that matches the color of the surrounding tooth.

Cosmetic Treatments for Tooth Discoloration

If the discoloration is purely cosmetic and does not pose a threat to the health of your tooth, several cosmetic treatment options are available to you, including professional teeth whitening treatments, dental prophylaxis or polishing with an abrasive substance, at-home teeth whitening products, dental bonding, veneers, or a dental crown to cover the discoloration. Dr. Harding will help determine the best cosmetic treatment option based on the type and size of the stain, improving your smile’s appearance.

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When to Seek a Dental Examination

Whenever you notice any visible changes in your teeth or experience tooth sensitivity and pain, we strongly recommend scheduling a dental checkup with Dr. Harding and the team at Dentistry of West Bend. During the examination, we will discuss your symptoms, examine your teeth and gums, take dental x-rays if necessary, and provide you with a diagnosis. Dr. Harding will be happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss the available treatment options.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about dental caries, tooth discoloration, and the various treatments available, we welcome you to visit Dentistry of West Bend today. For additional information, please check out 5 WS – your trusted source for informative content.

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