If your tooth recently broke on you, and you’re noticing a black stain, you’re not alone. Many patients of ours with cracked teeth notice something similar, and it’s a scary sight for a lot of them. But why is your tooth turning black underneath? In this article we will address this topic in detail, and tell you what can cause the darkening discoloration that you are noticing after your tooth has broken off.
Why do tooth teeth break?
There are many reasons why teeth can break off. Let’s go over the most common causes of teeth fracturing off:
- Dental Caries: Cavities (also known as caries) are when bacterial acids erode and eat through your teeth. Over time they can undermine the tooth structure causing them to break off.
- Grinding: Patients who perpetually grind their teeth are prone to their teeth fracturing and breaking off. This is why dentist recommend a nightguard for these patients.
- Trauma: Accidents and traumatic scenarios can lead to teeth breakage and fracturing.
- Large fillings: Large dental fillings can undermine the integrity of a tooth causing them to break off over time.
Why is it black underneath my broken tooth?
There are three main reasons why your tooth can be black when it breaks off:
- Dental cavities: Caries can discolor the inside portion of the tooth making them appear brown and sometimes black. These cavities need to be address early on with dental fillings or root canals prior to your tooth breaking off. If your tooth has broken off due to caries, there is a high likelihood that it needs to be removed.
- Sclerotic dentin: Many times when a tooth breaks off and it’s black, most people assume it’s a cavity that has caused it to turn this color. This is not always the case. Some times a protective layer of tooth structure is formed known as secondary dentin (sclerotic dentin) that is black in nature. So if you are noticing a blacking of your tooth after it has broken off, it could be the sclerotic dentin of the tooth exposing itself. Remember that this dentin is not harmful; it’s just a protective barrier that the tooth has formed to prevent caries penetration through the tooth.
- Amalgam residue: If your tooth had a silver filling before, and suddenly broke off, the black residue inside maybe leftover amalgam filling material.
Can a broken tooth that is blackened be saved?
This will depend on how badly the break was, and if the blackened area is caused by caries or not. If enough of your tooth structure remains, and your dentist can salvage the tooth, he or she may be able to save it. Most times these cases end up needing root canals and dental crowns to prolong the longevity of the tooth itself.
However, if your tooth has broken off to the gum-line or underneath, then there is a high chance that it will need to be extracted. Replacement options with dental bridges and dental implants may be an option for you. It is always prudent to speak with a high skilled dentist to see what your best options are.
How does I get rid of black tooth decay?
If your tooth is still salvageable, your dentist will remove the blackened decay with a dental handpiece. Once all the caries have been removed, a build up material followed by a tooth cap prolongs the life of the tooth. Remember that you will need to be numb with a local anesthetic for these procedures.
If your tooth has recently broken, and you have noticed a blackened appearance inside, do not be alarmed. Come visit our team at Best Dental so we can set up a proper treatment plan together. We will do everything we can to be conservative and keep your tooth intact for as long as possible. If we are not able to save it, we will present multiple options for replacement so that you don’t have to go toothless outside our dental office.
We hope we meet you and your family soon!