The purpose of this review was to summarise the fundamentals about black stain, its diagnosis and possible differential diagnoses as well as its microbiology and therapy. In addition, various studies investigating the relationship between black stain and dental caries are examined. Many studies report lower caries prevalence in children with black stain, but this finding could not be confirmed by all authors. Also, a negative relation between degree of staining and caries severity has been described. Reasons for these results are not yet clear but it was speculated that they are related to the specific oral microflora described in black stain-affected individuals.
Keywords: black stain, dental plaque, extrinsic tooth stain, pigmented dental plaque