Your teeth are the strongest structures in your body. But despite being strong, they can be damaged by things like bacteria or trauma.
The hard outer layer of your teeth is called enamel. Calcium gives your enamel its white color. Beneath your enamel is a softer, yellowish layer of tissue called dentin. It makes up most of your teeth. The innermost layer of your tooth is known as the pulp. The pulp has a reddish-pink color. It contains the nerves and blood vessels of your tooth. Fracture of a tooth can expose the dentin or pulp layer.
Whenever you break a tooth, see a dentist or other healthcare professional as soon as possible. The sooner you receive treatment, the more likely the dentist will save your tooth.
It is not normal for your teeth to be black inside. If you notice a black or dark brown color, this is likely a sign of tooth decay or other serious damage. A dentist can tell you the specific reason your tooth is discolored and can advise you on how best to fix it. Read on to learn what can cause darkening inside your tooth and what your treatment options are.
What can cause the inside of a broken tooth to turn black or brown?
Healthy teeth are not black inside. If your tooth is cracked and the inside appears black or dark brown, this is most likely a sign of internal damage. The following are possible causes:
Tooth decay begins when the bacteria in your mouth eats your enamel. If left untreated, bacteria can damage the inner dentin layer and cause sensitivity.
You are likely to experience toothache as the damage approaches the core of your tooth. As the decay progresses, the toothache will continue to get worse.
If bacteria completely eats the dentin, the nerves and blood vessels in your pulp can be damaged and discolored.
You can minimize your risk of developing dental caries by doing the following:
.visiting the dentist regularly
.limiting your intake of sugary drinks and foods
.brushing your teeth twice a day
.flossing at least once a day
Inflammation of your pulp is known as pulpitis. It usually causes increased sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink. Pulpitis can occur as a result of tooth decay or trauma that disrupts your tooth’s blood flow.
Pulp necrosis occurs when pulpitis progresses and nerves and blood vessels in the tooth die. If you have pulp necrosis, your tooth loses its ability to sense heat and cold.
The inside of your tooth may also turn black or brown because it has lost blood flow.
Consuming dark-colored foods and drinks can cause staining on your teeth, known as external stains. “External” means external; External tooth stains occur on the outer surface of the tooth.
Stains involving the deeper inner layers of the tooth are called intrinsic tooth stains. These stains occur when the dark substance penetrates the tooth. This usually happens during tooth development.
Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, can cause internal tooth staining in children.
Open Metal Filler
If you notice a black spot inside your tooth, you may be looking at an old dental filling. Some dental fillings, such as mercury and silver amalgam, oxidize and turn black over time.
When should you see the dentist?
A broken tooth is considered a dental emergency. When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to seek help from a dentist or other healthcare provider as soon as possible.
The sooner you take action, the more likely you are to save your tooth. In fact, many dentists leave open time in their schedules to adapt to emergencies.
If you break a tooth while your dental office is closed and you have severe toothache or swelling, go to the nearest emergency room.
How can a cracked, black tooth be treated?
The best treatment option for your black tooth depends on the cause. A black tooth does not heal on its own and needs dental care from a professional. A dentist will be able to recommend the best way to treat your tooth after examining it.
Here are some options:
If your tooth is severely damaged and cannot be straightened, the dentist will likely recommend pulling it out. They may replace your tooth with:
Root canal treatment
If your dental nerve is too inflamed to heal, a dentist will need to perform a root canal. Your dentist will clean and remove the inflamed pulp in the middle of your tooth.
If you have pulpitis or pulp necrosis, the dentist may also perform root canal treatment.
If your tooth is broken and cannot be repaired with a filling, your dentist may place a crown on it. A crown is a prosthetic head that covers and protects your damaged tooth. Crowns are usually made of ceramic, porcelain or metal.
What can dye the outside of the teeth black?
Having black teeth can be a sign of a serious dental condition. Reasons why your teeth are black on the outside may include:
Tooth decay: Tooth decay can discolor both the outside and the inside of your tooth.
Traumatic injury: A sudden injury to your tooth can damage its blood supply and cause it to turn black.
Fillings or crowns: Some types of fillings, such as those containing silver sulfide, can turn black over time due to oxidation.
Stains: Dark-colored foods and beverages, such as coffee and soda, can cause enamel stains over time.
Medications: Some medications, such as liquid iron supplements, can stain teeth.
Tobacco use: Chewing or smoking tobacco can stain your teeth. It also increases your risk of developing gum disease.
Tartar: Tartar is a buildup of plaque and minerals in your saliva. Some forms of tartar appear black or dark brown.
As a result:
A broken tooth is considered a dental emergency and requires immediate attention from a dentist.
If the inside of your tooth is black and your tooth is sensitive, this is likely a sign of tooth decay. After the examination, a dentist will be able to tell you the exact cause and recommend the best treatment option.