Black tooth stain and dental caries among Udaipur school children

Surekha Bhat


Background: Black stain is defined as dark pigmented exogenous substance in lines or dots parallel to the gingival margin and firmly adherent to enamel at the cervical third of the tooth crown in the primary and permanent dentition.

Aim: This study was conducted to evaluate the association and correlation between the presence of black extrinsic tooth stains with dental caries and caries experience at the tooth surface level in Udaipur schoolchildren.

Materials and methods: The target population consisted of 1472 (264 with black stain and 1208 without black stain) children aged 9.3±1.9 years. Clinical examinations were performed by two dentists calibrated for the WHO criteria for caries diagnosis. The student‘t’ test was used to compare the prevalence of caries (DMFT and DMFS) between groups of children with and without black tooth stains. Spearman’s correlation test was used to analyze the relationship between the presence of black stains and caries severity.

Results: Black stains were observed in 18% of the children. The Caries prevalence (DMFT and DMFS) in the total sample was statistically significant, lower in children with black stains as compared to children without black stains (p=0.000). A negative correlation was observed between the presence (r = -0.36; p<0.001) and severity (r =-0.36; p<0.001) of black stains and DMFT. 

Conclusion: The presence of black stain is associated with lower levels of caries. The interplay between black stain, caries, general caries activity, oral micro flora and diet remains unclear and urges further research


Black Tooth Stain, Dental Caries, Schoolchildren

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