Black Teeth: Symptoms, Causes, Stains and Treatment

by maria | Last Updated: February 2, 2021

Are you witnessing progressive blackening of one or more teeth? Your primary concern could be the appearance, but it could be a sign of some serious health problem. So delaying a visit to your dentist is definitely not an option. If you are noticing any change in teeth color from natural white, it is time to get in touch with a orthodontist or dentist of repute to know the cause and start the treatment as soon as possible.   

Whether the natural tone of your dental whiteness is whitish-yellow or whitish-grey, it comes from the amount of calcium present in enamel. Some discoloration happens with age as the outer hard layer erodes, making the underlying dentin visible. Decalcification of enamel makes teeth appear darker. One most common cause of discoloration, in extreme cases turning black teeth, could be due to progressive staining due to one cause or the other. Whatever is the reason, your dentist will examine and start treatment immediately to help you regain natural whiteness and smile perfectly.   

Symptoms of Black Teeth

It all begins with the development of small brown or gray spots on the enamel. This, if left unattended, could turn black. Other common symptoms could be the development of a black line on teeth just below the gum line. Another very common symptom of black teeth could be tartar deposit inside the front teeth or outside the molars. You know your natural color and shade of your teeth, so any change would be pretty visible, at least after your regular brushing and flossing.  

Causes of Black Teeth


Your teeth won’t turn black overnight, the discoloration will happen progressively. So, if you notice a change in the color of your teeth you should consult the dentist immediately. Following examination, he will explain in detail the possible cause of black teeth and available treatments. The cause of teeth turning black could be due to one or combined factors, which normally falls under two types, namely extrinsic and intrinsic.   


As the name suggests, the discoloration inducing factor comes from outside. Whether it is your food and drink habit, or regular oral care regimen, it could result in the deposition of stains, tartars which damages the outer layer of your enamel. In some cases, black teeth could be due to faulty dental restoration procedures.


It starts from inside and progresses outward. Black teeth could be due to decalcification, which could be due to nutrition imbalance or some medication. One common teeth blackening could be due to the development of cavities, which destroys the natural enamel making your teeth appear black.

What is the Treatment for Black Teeth? 

You can maintain the natural whiteness of your teeth by using suitable whitening agents to slow down the discoloration. But when it comes to treating black, you will need the help of a trained dentist as the procedure requires meticulous handling of enamel.

Your dentist will first examine your dental system and try to find the underlying cause of teeth blackening. Following diagnosis, he will determine suitable black teeth treatment.

Treating Tartar 

If teeth blackening is due to tartar buildup, your dentist will scrape the tartar using sophisticated tools. If it is too rigid, your dentist might use ultrasonic instruments to break up the tartar to remove it easily.

Treating Decay 

If black teeth are due to decay, the regular treatment of cleaning and scalping might not help. In such cases, your dentist might recommend the removal of a decayed portion of your tooth. Following the removal of the affected portion, the dentist will fill the hole using suitable cementing material. If the damage is beyond enamel, the dentist might remove the entire decay and place the crown, called root-canal treatment. In extreme cases of decay, when filling or crown will be of help, the dentist might recommend removal of affected teeth.


Dental discoloration, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, happens progressively. So, it is all up to you to show promptness in consulting a dentist so that it could be treated early to avoid painful procedures. You can prevent black teeth by practicing dental hygiene. Your dentist can help you regain your natural white teeth, but keeping them in perfect shape and shade is in your hands.

Maria Giovanisci is an enterprising dentist from London. Maria graduated from the University of Murcia and began her professional career in her own dental clinic before, she decided to embark on a joint project with her two colleagues. Aside from contributing on this blog, she also works in the public health sector at the new Torrevieja Hospital.

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