Cervical Caries or: What to Do When a Tooth is Turning Black at Gum Line?


Cervical caries is a disease caused by destruction of the teeth, mainly the cervical part of them. Usually the first symptoms arise from their external, visible side. This form of caries often affects the front teeth. The presence of the disease is a serious aesthetic problem. The result of its development is the complete destruction and loss of the tooth.

The Causes of Cervical Caries

teeth are turning dark at gum lineThe occurrence of cervical or root caries is typical for people over 30 years old, both men and women. The main reason for its development is the pathogenic microflora in the mouth. As a result, a tooth is turning black at gum line. The bacteria residing in the human oral cavity, in the course of their life, particularly in the processing of food residues, produce the plaque. This plaque accumulates on the tongue, teeth and gums, causing various diseases – gingivitis, periodontitis, and caries.

The greatest amount of plaque accumulates in the place where a tooth touches the gum, that is, in its cervical area. Enamel begins to crumble under the prolonged influence of plaque, there appear symptoms of tooth decay. Insufficient oral hygiene, including the wrong choice of toothpaste and toothbrush, contributes to the destruction of the teeth. No matter how good care of teeth you use, experts recommend an annual professional cleaning of the oral cavity from plaque and hard dental deposits.

The reason for the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the mouth can be improper diet: eating excessive amounts of sweets and carbohydrates-rich food. Some foods, e.g. carbonated water and citrus have a negative impact on the enamel of teeth; as a result, it becomes more susceptible to occurrence of various diseases.

The Symptoms of the Disease

The disease begins almost imperceptibly with a slight change of enamel at the base of the tooth. First, teeth are turning dark at gum line. This symptom indicates a thinning of the enamel and requires a therapy of remineralization. In the absence of any measures, the spot increases in size; the enamel in that place is black. At this stage of the development of cervical caries, intervention of the dentist is necessary. Thus, the signs of the disease include:

  • tooth is turning dark at gum linethe change of tooth enamel: teeth are turning dark at gum line;
  • increased sensitivity of the tooth to cold and hot;
  • pain in the place of damage to the enamel by mechanical impact on it (when cleaning teeth);
  • the dark cervical area of the tooth;
  • the formation of carious cavity;
  • the gradual destruction of the tooth.

Superficial caries (when only the upper layers of the tooth are affected) is, as a rule, not accompanied by pronounced pain symptoms. The presence of pain indicates the penetration of infection into the pulp and the development of pulpitis. Cervical caries can affect one or multiple teeth.

Treatment for Cervical Caries

teeth are turning black at gum lineThe treatment depends on how serious the process of destruction of a tooth is. It may be a fluoridation or remineralization of enamel, removal of the affected area and then applying the seal.

Fluoridation is the process of saturation of the teeth with one of its most important components – fluoride. It is effective when caries is still at the stage of the so-called “white spot”. Before the procedure, a dentist carries out the removal of dental plaque by ultrasound or laser, as well as sanitation of the oral cavity. During the procedure, special solution or varnish is applied on teeth. The patient does not feel any discomfort. Fluoridation is used in the treatment at the early stages of caries in children.

Remineralization is the process of saturation of tooth enamel with minerals, primarily calcium and phosphorus. Treatment process in this case is long; it consists in the daily application of special gel.

It’s only a specialist who knows how to treat caries at an advanced stage of development. Tooth tissue which is subjected to destruction is removed (with the help of a drill, laser or ultrasound), then filling material is used. Using veneers and other similar means will help to restore the attractive appearance of the front teeth.

Treatment for Cervical Caries with the Help of Folk Remedies

There are no folk remedies which will save a tooth which has already started to crumble. Still, it is possible to avoid the occurrence of the disease by regularly cleaning the oral cavity from plaque (you can use natural herbal toothpaste), not forgetting about its hygiene before going to bed and after eating. It is also advisable to include regular rinsing of the mouth with the decoction of spruce needles, chamomile, calendula flowers. The same measures can be used for the prevention of dental caries in children and adults.

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