A common reason why your tooth or teeth may appear black is because of staining. The more staining foods or drinks you have such as red wine, coffee, soy sauce and smoking, the quicker your teeth will stain. Also some mouthwashes can cause staining such as corsodyl. This is because they contain a chemical called chlorhexidine gluconate — an antiseptic designed to reduce bacteria and remove plaque, both of which can lead to bad breath. Visit your hygienist at least every 6 months to help maintain clean and white teeth.
If you notice black shadowing between your teeth or on the biting surface of your teeth this could be a sign of decay. You must visit your dentist as soon as possible to get it checked out before the decay spreads.
A dark, discoloured, black tooth is a sign your tooth may have died or is partially dead, this may have been caused by previous trauma or deep decay. Patients with a discoloured tooth often recall knocking their tooth in an accident some time ago which can then cause the nerve to die over time. This can actually take up to a few years for the tooth to change colour after trauma. The cause of the discolouration is thought to be decomposing blood products from the pulp inside the tooth.
This usually means that you would need to have the nerve removed and the root filled. There are many different ways to improve the colour afterwards from internal bleaching of the tooth to a crown if the tooth is also quite broken. To help prevent trauma or injury to your teeth it is always recommended to wear a mouthguard when playing contact sport.
If you need further advice or you are concerned click here to book an appointment with your dentist.