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trypaw's avatar

What is this brown spot near the gumline of my tooth?

Asked by trypaw (327 points ) September 1st, 2012

Hi, I have had a lot of dental issues in the past when I was younger I didn’t take care of my teeth, the past two years I’ve had a lot of work done on them and have been taking care of them quite well. Today I noticed under one of my back molars there is a brown hard spot (kinda tan colored) under my tooth right on the gum line. It hurts when I touch it with my dental pick but otherwise the tooth doesn’t really cause me pain. The tooth also has a amalgam filling near the gum line and the brown spot is directly under it. Could this be decay possibly a cavity? Or would this result in a root canal. I’m going to the dentist on the 10th but I would like to know what to prepare for. I’m hoping that it can just be filled and possibly crowned. If anyone could help I would appreciate it! Thank you!

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11 Answers

trypaw's avatar

Also I do not think it is tartar as it hurts when I poke it. I brush my teeth 2x a day floss and rinse with fluoride rinse. I do all I can for my teeth and I still get problems with them. I’m just really worried this is going to have to be a root canal (I cant afford) or a extraction. Has anyone had a similar problem that was a cavity? And the tooth otherwise looks fine to, no discoloration other than this hard spot.

hearkat's avatar

I have had cavities form along the edge of a filling like that, so it is possible it’s just a cavity. If it needed a root canal, I’d think the tooth would bother you. But I’m no dentist. Good luck!

majorrich's avatar

My dentist told me it was my gums receding and this was part of the tooth that didn’t have enamel on it. “Normal for a man your age” Ugh

gailcalled's avatar

It’s called dentin and it is, indeed, visible when the gums recede below the enamel. Make sure you massage your gums with an electric toothbrush.

trypaw's avatar

@majorrich I’m only 21 so I don’t know why my gums would be receding, sounds kind of scary. @gailcalled why would the dentine be showing?

gailcalled's avatar

Because as @majorrich mentions, the gums recede as one ages. And I think it is officially called “dentin.” I use an electric toothbrush and brush the tooth at the gumline assiduously. I angle the brush at 45˚ angle to the gums and let the bristles gently brush just beneath the gum line. That helps the circulation. Just go lightly.

trypaw's avatar

@gailcalled why would it be hurting?

trailsillustrated's avatar

it is decay in the dentine, which is softer than the enamel above the outline. Very easy to repair don’t worry.

trailsillustrated's avatar

*gumline – hate text predictor lol

trailsillustrated's avatar

ps Most likely decay- but impossible to know for sure without seeing it.

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