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Discussions relating to bone cancer symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis

Dark Spots

Postby morio20 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:06 am

Hi Dr. Teig, I was wondering about something I have seen on my x-ray that I took a couple days ago at the dentist office. The x-rays show a black spot above the x-ray, but it is not black black, it's more like gray. So I was wondering if there is inflammation above a tooth and not infected, will it still show that black/gray spot? Because I was told that gray spot means that bone has been destroyed by the immune system trying to kill the bacteria, therefore causing bone destruction. If there is inflammation, will that happen about the bone being destroyed and will a gray spot be produced? And is it true the darker the color on the x-ray, the worse it is? My dentist is not clear on that. He was not sure.

ANSWER: Dave -  First of all, the darker the spot is, the more bone destruction has occurred.  The cause of this bone destruction above a tooth can be an actual infection within the tooth, a cyst at the end of the root or an infection beyond the root and lodged in the bone beyond the tooth.  

It is really not the immune system, but increased pressure from an infection or the growth of a lesion like a cyst, that causes the gray spot to occur.  The darker the color, like I said before, the less bone now exists in that area.  

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Hi Dr. Teig, thanks for getting back to me so soon. I do have an important follow-up questions. There is a white spot on my gums, between my two front teeth. I had the dentists look at them, and they said that is nothing, and it is part of the gums. So how do you guys know if the cyst is harmful or not? And if there is a harmless cyst, will there be a darkening spot above the tooth of an x-ray, meaning that dark spot is harmless? Or are darkening spots always indications that something is wrong?

How do you remove a cyst?

Before answering these questions, I want you to know that the cyst is between my two front teeth, which are numbers 8 and 9. Number 9 had an infection, so I already had a root canal on that one. Number 8 is the one in question, because that tooth is vital, but has lingering temperature sensations, but not very painful. That one has darkening of the spot above the tooth, but is vital, but just has discomfort when cold is put on it, because the cold doesn't go away like the other normal teeth. So, just thought I'd let you know so maybe you can answer my questions in specific terms, if possible. Thanks!

ANSWER: Dave - To give you an answer specific to your situation would require that I actually see the xray with the dark spot.  

A white spot on the gums may mean nothing and it can be due to just a thickening of the gum tissue in that area from inflammation, minor trauma(like a scar) or it could possibly be a small abcess.  

A cyst, harmless or not will present itself with a dark spot above the tooth at the end of the root.  Dark spots mean that there is bone dissolution in that area(not a good sign, but it could be scar tissue from a previous problem that has healed.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

So a harmless cyst can actually still create that dark spot above the tooth? So that means that the dark spot is harmless?

Also, I have heard that if the tooth is inflammed, it means that the bone will show up whiter on the x-rays. Is that true?

So what do you think it is when there is that dark spot on x-ray, there is a white bump which I believe is a cyst on my gums next to that tooth, and the tooth is vital, and has cold discomfort, all at the same time? What can you rule in and rule out for that? thanks Dr. Teig, your help is greatly appreciated.
morio20
 
Posts: 1100
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:33 am

Dark Spots

Postby Luiginw » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:33 pm

Dave -  A cyst is not harmless.  It is a fluid filled sac that expands with internal pressure.  An inflamed tooth will definitely not produce a whitening of the surrounding bone.  

I wish I could honestly tell you what the dark spot is, but without a look at the xray and a clinical exam, I don't want to say something that may not be accurate and I don't want to rule anything out.
Luiginw
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:48 am

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MatilysJaF
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:48 am
Location: Russia

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MatilysJaF
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:48 am
Location: Russia


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