Black Teeth or Discoloured Anterior Tooth ?

When most people think about tooth discolouration, they tend to think of teeth that have become stained from things like coffee and tea or smoking. While this may be a more common form of tooth discolouration, some people may experience issues with a single tooth, or even a few teeth, that have turned grey or black teeth.

Whether your teeth have been stained by things like food and beverages or you have a few black teeth, it can have a noticeable impact on your smile. However, issues with black teeth can indicate more serious problem that needs to be addressed for reasons that go beyond aesthetics. In this post, we are going to look at issues that concern teeth that have turned black.


What happens when a tooth turns black?

Each tooth has three layers: the pulp, the dentin, and the enamel. When you get to the pulp of a tooth, you have a soft tissue layer that contains the nerves and blood vessels. When the nerves or blood vessels in the tooth are damaged, the tooth can die.

The blood vessels and the nerves in your teeth can be damaged in a number of different ways. In some cases, it could be the result of trauma, and in other situations, it may be an infection or the result of decay. Once the blood supply to the tooth is cut off, the pulp will begin to die, and it will turn black during this process.

In some cases that involve trauma, there might be something similar to bruise in the pulp. A traumatic event damages the blood vessel in the tooth. When the blood vessel is damaged, a small amount of blood may be left behind in the pulp. This blood can then stain the tooth. In some cases, the trauma may only result in this staining. In other cases, it could result in the death of the tooth.

Beyond turning grey or possibly black, a dead tooth can also cause pain. This may sound counterintuitive since the nerve is dead, but the pain is not coming from the interior of the tooth. Instead, you have the remnants of the nerve or nerve endings near the tooth that can become irritated as the result of the dead tooth. While pain can be a common symptom of a dead tooth, it is important to note that not every dead tooth is going to cause pain.

Discoloured Anterior Tooth - Black TeethDiscoloured Anterior Tooth - Black Teeth


If you have a black tooth or notice a tooth that is starting to darken, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you wait too long for treatment, extraction may be the only remedy that is available. However, if you seek treatment in the early stages, it may be possible to save the tooth and maintain the function. Furthermore, a dead tooth can become infected and it could cause problems for other teeth and other areas of the mouth.

A root canal treatment is the most common approach to addressing a dead tooth. With a root canal procedure, the dentist can remove all of the decayed, decomposed and infected material from the pulp chamber. Once the root canal is complete, the tooth can be sealed and filled. Depending on the condition of the tooth, it may also need to be crowned.

Black teeth after dental implant treatment

Even once the tooth has been saved, there may still be a problem with discolouration. If this occurs, the dentist can inject a tooth-whitening agent that works from the inside of the tooth. If the discolouration is not addressed, there is a good chance that it could still show through the crown. With the combination of root canal and whitening, you have a solution that not only saves the tooth from a practical standpoint, but one that also restores the look of the tooth.


In some cases, a dead tooth is hard to prevent. For the most part, the recommendations for prevention are the standard rules of oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth at least two times a day and clean in between your teeth using floss. You should also use a fluoride toothpaste and make sure to adhere to proper brushing techniques. You also want to avoid sugary foods and drinks and get regular checkups from your dentist.

Prevention for black teeth

When it comes to preventing the trauma that can result in a dead tooth, that can be a little more difficult. In most cases, the trauma is caused by an event that could not have been foreseen. However, there are a few tips that could help for some people. Don’t try to open or break anything with your teeth. If you regularly play a contact sport, you could protect your teeth with a mount guard.

Even if there is no pain, you should schedule an examination with your dentist if you have a black tooth or notice one that is starting to darken. By getting the problem addressed early, you increase the chance that the tooth can be saved and you limit the possibility that an infection could impact other teeth or other areas of the mouth.

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