Why do teeth turn black featured image

Teeth turn black due to number of reasons and its hard to guess the cause without proper diagnosis but there are a set of potential causes which leads to black teeth. Many factors can turn your teeth black such as drugs, rotting, tartar formation, stains etc.

To find the treatment of your black teeth, we have to learn the reasons behind it. Don’t worry we have got it covered.

What causes black teeth?

Here are the six causes which makes your teeth become black.

Rotten teeth

rotten teeth graphical image

A teeth turns black when it rots over time. When a teeth rots, the outermost white portion is demineralized, exposing the inner portion which is yellowish in colour. This yellow layer turn brownish black in colour when exposed in the oral environment.

If you are seeing a black spot over the top surface of tooth then most probably its a rotten tooth.

Teeth Stains

teeth stain turning teeth black graphical image

Teeth Stains are the most common reason for blackish discoloration of your teeth. Stains are of two types:

  1. Extrinsic Stains
  2. Intrinsic Stains

Stains are formed by number of reasons and its treatment differs based on the type of stain.

Nutritional Deficiency

nutritional deficiency vector

Your teeth can show black spots or lines when certain vitamins or nutrients are deficient in body. The blackish discoloration happens mostly due to:

  1. Vitamin D deficiency – Vitamin D is the building block of the tooth outer white portion called enamel and its deficiency leads to thinner layer of enamel which can expose the inner yellowish layer called dentin, causing the teeth to look darker in color.
  2. Iron deficiency anemia – Iron deficiency anemia or taking iron supplements leads to higher amount of iron in saliva, if the patient is taking good amounts of lactoferrin (present in cheese) which binds with the iron to form black colored compound. Then, they bind in the saliva and form black stain on the teeth.

Refer to this article to read about how iron deficiency leads to blackish discoloration.

Traumatic Injury

Traumatic injury

Your teeth can become discolored on a hard injury on it. When a tooth is hit hard, the blood starts to leak from the tooth and it starts darkening giving a blackish appearance. As the blood leaks over time, your teeth becomes more and more black. At the end the tooth dies and blood flow stops inside the tooth called as non vital tooth.

Thus, A dental visit is important if you have experienced a traumatic injury to the mouth.


drug usage icon

Various drugs can cause your teeth color to change to pink or black. Regular usage of some drugs affect your oral health very much.

What drug makes your teeth turn black?

The most common drug which leads to teeth turning black is Methamphetamine.

Regular usage of Methamphetamine leads to a condition called Meth mouth causing tooth decay and much more serious dental issues. To know more about link between Methamphetamine and its associated dental issues, please refer to this article.

Also read about  – Do rotten teeth smell? Why your teeth smells like poop


Lifestyle Habits

graphical image showing effect of lifestyle habits on turning teeth black

Your lifestyle plays an important role on your teeth health. Many eating habits such as excessive tea & coffee, smoking and certain drugs can lead to your teeth turning black.

  1. Smoking – Smoking has a devastating affect on your whole body and one of it is black stains over your teeth. Regular smoking leads to accumulation of the tar from smoke over your teeth and give it blackish appearance.
  2. Tea & CoffeeExcessive drinking of tea and coffee can also be a reason for blackish appearance of your teeth.
  3. Poor oral hygiene – Poor oral hygiene can lead to accumulation of plaque and tartar which turns black over time.

How to remove black stains from teeth naturally

You can’t remove all types of black stains but some of them can be removed naturally. Here are some tips to remove black stains from your teeth.

  1. Using Hydrogen peroxide – Using 1.5% hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash before brushing your teeth can help removing the black stains as hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent. Don’t use high concentration h2o2 solution as it can have side effects.
  2. Using baking soda – Using baking soda along with toothpaste while brushing can help as it is a natural whitening agent.
  3. Quit smoking – Smoking is the leading factor to turn your teeth black by forming extrinsic stains. Quitting the smoking habit can reduce these stains over time.
  4. Avoid Tea/Coffee – Excessive drinking of tea and coffee also stains your teeth. Avoiding these beverages can help you with removing the stains.
  5. Maintain proper oral hygiene – Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly helps in removing stains over time. Don’t to harsh brushing to remove the black stains as it will only harm your teeth and is not helpful in removing the stains.

If the stains are not still present, then visiting a dentist is required. A dentist can treat your intrinsic black stains by performing the bleaching procedure. If tartar is built up over the gum line of your teeth then a dentist can remove it by scaling and root planning.

Frequently asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions and their answers to help our users fully understand about how do teeth turn black.

Can a black tooth be saved?

A black tooth can be saved in most of the cases. Black stains can easily be removed by scaling and root planning. If your teeth turned black due to trauma then a procedure called bleaching is used to whiten your teeth.

If you are having a rotten tooth then the blackish portion is excavated and a tooth colored filling material is filled in your tooth.

How can I remove black from my teeth?

You can remove black stain from your teeth by following proper brushing and flossing. You can try some home remedies, if the black stains are still present then visiting a dentist is the best way to get it fixed.

Can black teeth be white again?

Yes, Black teeth are nothing to be afraid of. You can easily turn it white by visiting a dentist.

Does a black tooth mean its infected?

Not all black colored tooth are infected but in some cases people misjudge rotten tooth as black stain. You should visit a dentist for proper diagnosis.

Why do teeth turn black at the gum line?

A tooth can turn black on the gum line due to accumulation of tartar. The tartar accumulates on the bottom of teeth when proper hygiene is not maintained.

Why is my Teeth turning black without pain?

You are most probably having stains on your tooth which are painless. These stains can be easily removed by taking proper care of your teeth and lifestyle changes.