Just about everyone wishes their smile was a little bit brighter, but for some people, the issue is a little more pressing than others. If you’ve noticed that one or all of your teeth has started to turn gray, you may want to do whatever you can to improve its condition.
There are quite a few reasons you could wind up with a gray tooth or two, and fortunately, there are just as many things that can be done to resolve the issue. If you want to know more about them and what can be done to help you, here are some examples.
Where do Gray Teeth Come From?
Gray teeth can be a consequence of several things:
- Medications: Graying teeth are a side effect of several medications. Tetracycline (a common antibiotic) can produce this effect in children younger than 8, or if their mother took it during pregnancy. There are also some medications used in root canal procedures that can produce this effect.
- Dead Tooth: If you have just one gray tooth, it may be that that tooth has died for one reason or another. Teeth die due to a lack of blood flow, which can happen either due to trauma or decay. Teeth may not gray for months or years after they’ve died, so it may not even be obvious that the discoloration is connected to the injury.
- Aging: Teeth discolor with age, and sometimes they may even turn a grayish-blue with age.
- Dental Fillings: If a metal filling begins to peek through the enamel, that will make it look gray.
How to Deal with Gray Teeth
If a tooth has died, it likely contains bacteria that could spread to other teeth. In that case, a dentist may recommend treating the infection via a root canal. This will remove infected tissue from the tooth and cover it with a dental crown, which will also hide the gray color. In extreme cases, the dentist may recommend removing the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant.
If your tooth has become discolored for another reason, you may be able to deal with the issue via a professional whitening treatment. If the issue is serious, it may be necessary to cover the tooth with a veneer or crown.
About the Author
Dr. Mike Asay attributes his success as a dentist to not only his clinical expertise, but also his compassion and empathy for each of his patients. He takes the time to listen carefully to each of his patients’ needs and incorporates them into treatment. Dr. Asay received his degree from the Baylor College of Dentistry, and he’s a current member of both the Seattle Study Club and the American Dental Association.
If you have any questions about gray teeth, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (512) 244-2796.