Oral Medicine & Pathology

Amalgam Tattoo: Clinical Features, Incidence, Etiology, Diagnosis, Management


Amalgam Tattoo

(Focal argyrosis)


Clinical features


Black or bluish-black (usually) solitary, nonelevated small pigmented area beneath normal mucosa; usually related to lower ridge or buccal vestibule; more rarely palate and floor of the mouth.

It is asymptomatic and may rarely be radiopaque.




Common: mainly in adults.




Amalgam particles or dust can become incorporated in healing wounds after tooth extraction or apicectomy or beneath mucosa (i.e. after an abrasion with a bur or elevator).




May need to excise to exclude melanoma microscopically.

Differentiate from other causes of pigmentation, especially naevi and melanoma.




The lesions are of no clinical importance but excision biopsy may sometimes be necessary to distinguish reliably from naevus or melanoma, or for aesthetic reasons.Amalgam tattoo