Why do I have a black tooth?

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A black tooth is a clear signal that your tooth is devitalized, this means that the tooth pulp and nerve are dead.

A tooth turns black when it loses blood flow. Therefore, a black tooth is weaker than a healthy tooth, so as time passes the tooth starts darkening until it reaches a near-black color. Hence, the reason for the name, black tooth.

Children especially, are prone to suffer several accidents throughout their childhood. Sometimes in those moments they can fracture or damage their dentures. When children hit their denture directly, this causes permanent damage to their tooth.

According to statistical data, it is estimated that between 8% to 30% of children under the age of 7, have suffered some kind of denture accident, in which they mainly damaged their front teeth. Every time they suffer dental trauma, the tooth can turn a different color, such as pink, gray, blue, and more commonly: black.

Causes of a black tooth can be the following:

  1. Trauma
    A hit or injury to the denture can cause teeth to change their color, to any of the hues specified above. A hard hit can cause a fracture, chips, and dents. These types of injuries can subsequently cause nerve damage and weaken the tooth.
  2. Pulp necrosis
    Sometimes a darkened tooth may be a symptom of what’s called pulp necrosis, although it can also be related to other issues such as calcifications or internal bleeding. Pulp necrosis is the total or partial death of a tooth’s soft tissue, which is known as the pulp. This can be the main cause of bacterial infections, since dead tissues gets easily infected. The most common cause of pulp necrosis is trauma. The accident causes blood vessels to bleed inside the tooth, significantly weakening them and causing uncomfortable or even intense pain. As time passes bacteria starts building up in the dead tissues, then the tooth starts darkening. Tissues infected by bacteria are toxic and can cause gum inflammation as well.
  3. Deep dental cavities
    It is very important to visit your dentist at least every six months. You should also have an annual dental cleaning, so you can prevent any mouth/dental problems, such as cavities. Dental cavities can permanently damage your teeth if they are not controlled, they can not only turn them black, but you can also end up losing your teeth!
  4. Black teeth treatment
    There are actually some options for treating a black tooth. When a black tooth is caused by a trauma, an endodontic procedure followed by a whitening treatment is needed. The professional must also consider if there are other issues such as a fracture or even infection. If the piece is severely damaged, sometimes an extraction will be necessary and then a tooth replacement can be done. When there is a deep-rooted cavity the first step, is to control the infection with an endodontic treatment. As long as the tooth root is intact and the bone has not been damaged; once the infection is gone then, the piece is restored with a porcelain crown.

Where can I get care?

At Somos Dental we have a great team of experienced dentists and dental care professionals. We have four different locations around the Valley: Downtown, Desert Sky, Mesa, and Camelback. To schedule an appointment call us at 623-869-1091.

Don’t risk your health, come where the experts are!

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