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Black teeth is a rather common problem but little do people know it is caused by small factors like your everyday habits.

Everyone wants to have white, healthy teeth. However, sometimes, not only this wish cannot come true but things can also go downhill as teeth gradually turn black. There are many reasons behind this but it is mostly due to bad habits or oral diseases. Let’s read on and find out these causes of black teeth and how to improve them.

Your tooth color vastly depends on the amount of calcium in the outermost layer (also called the tooth enamel). Over time, plaque will build upon the enamel, causing your teeth to turn yellow or gray. Nonetheless, if your teeth turn black, see your dentist immediately.

Why your teeth turn black

Almost every one of us already knows consumption of beverages such as coffee and soft drinks can make teeth turn black, discolored, and less attractive. In addition to this, there are a lot more causes which are divided into 2 categories by specialists:

1. Extrinsic causes

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol. Alcohol, when mixed with certain kinds of foods can result in reactions, making teeth look worse and worse.
  • Medications. Certain antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and radiation medicine can discolor your teeth.
  • Damaged, broken, and cracked teeth. This kills the nerves that serve teeth, and hence, causes teeth to turn black.

Additional causes include:

  • Excessive smoking
  • Using poor-quality mouthwash and toothpaste which damage the tooth enamel
  • Frequent intake of dark-colored foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, sodas containing many artificial colors
  • Tooth filing containing silver sulfide which can turn teeth black
  • Plaque buildup

2. Intrinsic causes

Black teeth can come from intrinsic factors, among which tooth decay is the most common culprit. If tooth decay is the cause, you will experience only black stains at first. Without treatment, these will spread and cover all over the teeth.

How do teeth change before turning black?

The color won’t turn from white to black all at once but it will go through a rather long process. You will notice some symptoms before your teeth gradually turn black.

At first, you will see several brown or gray stains on your teeth and these will gradually turn black. There are also initial cases of small black spots along the gum line.

If the tartar is what causes your teeth to turn black, you will notice many black stains in the front of the molars and at the back of the incisors. If left untreated, the tartar will continue to accumulate and erode the enamel, resulting in tooth damage.

How to whiten your black teeth?

consulting doctor

Black teeth can be unattractive, shaking your confidence and making you self-conscious when communicating or smiling. That is why how to whiten back teeth is the top concern among those who have “stumbled” into this situation.

Black teeth cannot be treated completely by using at-home teeth whitening kits or natural remedies. Therefore, it is best that you visit a dentist to accurately detect the cause and seek proper treatment.

If it is the tartar that causes your teeth to turn black, your dentist will whiten them by removing the tartar. If the cause is tooth decay, your dentist will have to remove the damaged part. If the decay has “eaten” into the second layer, you will be advised to get dental crowns after the decay treatment. If the damage is too severe, your dentist will have to extract the tooth.

If your teeth become black and discolored due to foods and drinks or poor habits, you can receive teeth whitening to get your white, shiny teeth back. However, make sure to learn about this procedure thoroughly and find trustworthy dental clinics first. This is because teeth whitening are now performed at many clinics where there is not standard equipment and the dentists giving unclear information. Do not buy whiteners yourself to whiten teeth at home as this can result in gum damage and pulpitis.

Learn more: Your Step-by-step guide to professional teeth whitening

How to prevent your teeth from turning black?

To prevent this problem, the American Dental Association (ADA) has recommended that you:

  • Avoid sugary foods
  • Have a dental check-up every 6 months
  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean your teeth or use dental floss at least once per day
  • In addition to taking care of your oral hygiene, also avoid:
  • Coffee
  • Coke or other soft drinks containing artificial colors
  • Black tea
  • Red wine
  • Smoking

If you find your teeth turning black or strange-colored small spots forming on the surface, it is best that you visit a reliable dental clinic as only qualified dentists can provide you with proper treatment plans. After treatment, do not forget to take good care of your teeth so you won’t have to encounter this unsightly problem again.

Healthy, radiant teeth are what makes a beautiful smile. How to best take care of your oral health? It’s recommended that you and your family should visit your dentist once every 6 months to get timely diagnosis and treatment for any oral problems.  


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