What are the causes of a black tooth? An issue that affects many people and often leads to questions about oral health. This condition can cause concern not only due to its impact on aesthetics but also because it could indicate underlying dental problems.
A tooth turning black can be alarming and indicate various underlying dental issues. Here are some common causes of a tooth turning black:
- Tooth Decay: Tooth decay is the most common cause of a black tooth. When bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the tooth enamel, it can lead to cavities. If left untreated, the decay can progress deeper into the tooth, causing it to appear black or dark brown.
- Trauma or Injury: Trauma or injury to a tooth can disrupt the blood supply and damage the internal structures. This can result in the tooth turning black due to internal bleeding or death of the tooth pulp.
- Dental Restorations: Sometimes, certain dental restorations, such as silver amalgam fillings or metal crowns, can cause a tooth to appear black. Over time, these restorations may darken or stain the surrounding tooth structure.
- Tooth Discoloration: Certain factors can cause intrinsic tooth discolouration, where the tooth’s internal structure becomes discoloured. This can be due to developmental issues, medications, or exposure to excessive fluoride.
- Pulp Necrosis: When a tooth’s pulp becomes infected or dies, it can lead to discolouration. The tooth may turn black or dark grey due to the breakdown of internal tissues.
If you notice a black tooth, you must visit your dentist immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment. They will examine your tooth, take X-rays if necessary, and determine the underlying cause. Treatment options may include dental fillings, root canal therapy, dental crowns, or tooth extraction, depending on the extent of the problem.
Early intervention is key to preventing further damage and preserving your oral health. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene are essential to maintaining a healthy smile.
What is a bruised or Dead Tooth?
When teeth are hit with a significant force that causes a fracture, chip, or nerve impact, blood may rush to the area. Subsequently, the bruised tooth with blood travelling to the affected area results in inflammation. Unfortunately, this causes the tooth to internally “die”, eventuating in its distinctive black colour.
What is Black Tartar?
When harmful bacteria build up in particular areas, the collection of bacteria begins to form a substance known as plaque.
Over time, if left untreated, plaque gradually hardens and becomes tartar, also known as dental calculus.
Tartar usually tends to glue and bond itself to the outer enamel of your teeth. The colour of tartar is usually either white or yellow, but depending upon the foods consumed or other oral health reasons, it may be brown or black.
The following factors could contribute to black tartar:
- Diets high in sugar
- Beverages with staining colours, such as coffee, dark soft drinks, wine, or other dark drinks
- Damage to the tooth’s enamel
- Trauma or damage to the tooth’s enamel
Dentists can remove black tartar from teeth and the gum using a procedure known as scaling. Treatment consists of using special dental instruments and materials. If black tartar is noticeable in the mirror, removing it as soon as possible is vital, as it may lead to gum disease.
How can a black tooth be treated?
There are different treatment methods that a dentist may propose for a black tooth. These may vary based on the reasons that may have caused the tooth’s darkening.
If the damage has travelled extensively throughout the tooth with gum infection, root canal therapy by an endodontist could be proposed. Endodontists specialise in treating the inside of the tooth, known as dental pulp. As a result, this helps save the natural tooth from potential extraction while stopping the pain caused by the infected tooth and gum.
If the blackening of the tooth or even surrounding teeth is on the surface, tooth whitening may help to lighten the shade of the colour.
There are instances where tooth whitening and composite are used to revive the tooth. This procedure involves teeth whitening to lighten the shade, almost like an undercoat method used by Painters, and then composite resin is masked over the top.
Alternatively, a dentist may recommend a dental crown or porcelain veneer as an outer shell to cover the blackened tooth. This procedure, particularly with a dental crown, involves shaving down the outer layer of the tooth and then placing a porcelain ceramic crown over the top.
Dentists precisely match the colour of the ceramic crown or veneer to the surrounding teeth so that the restoration is indistinguishable to the eye.
Visit our experienced general and cosmetic dentists near you.
Are you looking for a trusted local dentist to restore confidence in your smile? Whether you want to repair a black tooth or explore other transformative dental treatments, our highly skilled dentists are ready to assist. Recognized for our excellent service across South East Queensland, our clinics on the Gold Coast, Jimboomba, Bray Park, Wynnum, and Logan, are conveniently located to serve you. Choose Amazing Smiles, where your journey towards a healthy and radiant smile begins. Contact us today for your personalized consultation. At Amazing Smiles, we accept all major health funds and offer flexible payment plans.