Black teeth can be pretty embarrassing because of the lack of confidence that comes with it. Additionally, you cannot have a great smile for your job or social life.
In addition to these cosmetic drawbacks, black teeth may indicate oral health issues that require attention. It can be a symptom of an underlying decay, cavities, staining, or rotten teeth.
You might be worried if you have just discovered that you have a black tooth. But you should not panic. The best action is to speak with a dental professional who can evaluate the condition. Fortunately, professionals can treat even the most severe cases with the appropriate orthodontic or dental care.
Causes of Teeth Darkening
Your teeth can turn dark for several reasons.
This is one of the leading causes of your teeth turning black. Tooth decay results from bacteria that destroy dental enamel, leaving behind black color. At first, it may appear as small holes and eventually cover the entire tooth if the person does not seek treatment.
It is improbable that teeth can suddenly turn black due to stains. But your teeth can turn black if you smoke tobacco, drink tea or coffee, or eat staining foods like dark chocolate or berries.
Stains and marks from these products may cause tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth, leading to tooth decay, which gives the appearance of dark teeth.
The obvious solution is to stop using these products. However, you can also limit use to start and brush your teeth after each use. An abrasive toothpaste would be ideal for prevention if used 1-2 times weekly.
Metal fillings may start as silver and then darken as they age, making your teeth appear black. Metal fillings are strong enough, which is why many countries, particularly Israel and the USA, adore them. But if the aesthetic element is important to you, it’s advisable to replace them with ones that are more biocompatible and made of a different material.
When trauma affects your tooth, it can develop a layer underneath the enamel, known as secondary dentin. The buildup may blacken your tooth and cause the tooth’s pulp (living tissue) to shrink.
Medical conditions like gastric reflux, liver disease, eating disorders, and other metabolic conditions can cause teeth darkening.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Inadequate flossing and brushing of teeth can also cause plaque buildup on your teeth. And if left untreated over time, it may harden to form tartar. At first, it starts as a color similar to your tooth enamel but can also stain.
Dead or Bruised Tooth
Your tooth may have turned black due to two reasons. First, it may be bruised, which might only be a slight cosmetic issue. Second, you may have chipped it because the inside nerve is dead. The injured portion of your tooth gets shut off from the blood supply due to swelling and blood rushing to the area. Your tooth ultimately dies on the inside, giving it a distinctive black color.
But more worrying than a distasteful smile is what occurs in your mouth after your tooth darkens. If the issue is left unattended, you will be carrying a pocket of decomposing tissue in your mouth. It is vulnerable to attack from bacteria inside your mouth without the protection of your immune system.
This can easily lead to infections– particularly with a tooth, where the damaged part has direct access to your skull’s nerves, bones, and blood vessels. Infection poses a significant health threat unless it is promptly treated.
A tooth infection has the potential to spread to your sinuses, brain, and other teeth. The inflammation can also spread through your blood to other areas of your body. But not to worry. There are solutions to all these depending on the extent of the underlying cause.
Treatment for Black Teeth
Treatment options for black teeth can be extensive, but there is an effective option that will permanently get rid of black teeth.
If you have concerns regarding black teeth, you should seek professional treatment. A dentist will examine your tooth to determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment option.
Black teeth treatment options include:
Root Canal Treatment
If the damage has spread extensively through your teeth and affected the gum, an endodontist may propose root canal treatment for your condition. Endodontists specialize in the care of dental pulp, the interior part of the tooth. This prevents the discomfort caused by the infected gum and tooth while also saving the natural tooth from probable extraction.
If the tooth’s surface is blackened, then, in addition to cleaning, teeth whitening may help revive the tooth’s original color. This procedure involves whitening your teeth to lighten the shade. It can be done using a laser or a special LED lamp at the dentist.
Your dentist may also take an impression of your teeth to form a mouthguard and give you specific instructions on using a bleaching gel. Then, you can apply the gel a couple of times for a few weeks at home.
Porcelain Veneer or Dental Crown
Alternatively, your dentist may recommend an outer shell to conceal the black tooth. This procedure, especially with a dental crown, entails removing the tooth’s outer layer and covering it with a porcelain ceramic crown.
To make the repair invisible, dentists carefully match the color of the veneer or ceramic crown to the surrounding teeth.
Visit a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist Near You
Having clear, white teeth can make your smile look better and brighter!
Through examining your tooth enamel and gum tissue, a professional dentist can accurately evaluate the underlying cause of your black teeth and recommend an appropriate treatment according to the nature and extent of the underlying cause.
If you are concerned about any of your teeth for cosmetic or health reasons, do not hesitate to reach out or book an appointment with one of our skilled cosmetic dentists. We are ready to provide dental solutions that rejuvenate your smile.