What does it mean when a tooth turns black? Without seeing the person, we offer some possibilities.
If there is no pain, a likely possibility is the tooth was injured and the health of the nerve is compromised. The tooth may not actually be black but discolored.
If there is discoloration at the gum line we also suspect trauma.
Another possibility is extreme decay, especially if the surface of the tooth is different from other teeth. In this case, there is probably an odor.
In a tooth that received a root canal but no crown, the root may discolor over time. In this case, an endodontist may try bleaching the tooth internally using the same process as bleaching teeth externally.
If this does not solve the issue, other repairs can be considered.
A tooth with a root canal and a crown may also discolor if root discolors and the crown is thin. It could also be that the root canal was poorly done or has broken down.
If the tooth has an older crown with a metal base, over time the gum changes and the metal may show as a dark line at the gum line.
Smoking, wine, and coffee can also discolor teeth.
There are many reasons a tooth may discolor. The first step in all cases is to get to your dentist, who can diagnose the cause. An x-ray will most likely be needed.
Once diagnosed, there are many solutions. Time to see your dentist.
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