When most people picture tooth discoloration, they see brown or yellow stains; however, you experience something different because your teeth are gray. You’ve likely tried several OTC whitening products to reveal a brighter smile, but you didn’t achieve any results. That’s because gray teeth aren’t caused by surface stains, so they require a unique approach to treatment. Here’s what has caused the discoloration and what you can do to fix it.
Causes of Gray Teeth
Typically, people deal with stains caused by poor oral hygiene, genetics, lifestyles habits, or diet choices. Blue or gray teeth are less common because they aren’t caused by traditional stain-causing factors. Instead, the culprit behind the grayish hue is more complex, such as:
- Genetics: Not all teeth are naturally white. A rare genetic condition can affect the appearance and structure of the teeth, called dentinogenesis imperfecta. It causes the primary and permanent teeth to either have a blue-gray or yellow-brown tint. They are often weaker than the average teeth because of defective dentin.
- Early Antibiotic Exposure: Antibiotic tetracycline is effective in fighting many infections, but exposure to it while in the womb or during early childhood can discolor the permanent teeth. It often appears as a pattern of horizontal lines.
- Dental Restorations: Metal fillings can give a tooth a gray or blue tint. The metallic color of the restoration can be visible through the translucent enamel.
- Dead Teeth: If one or two teeth appear to be graying, it might be because they are dead. If the pulp inside of a tooth dies, then the tooth will die, and it will begin to turn black.
Treating Gray Teeth
You don’t need to live with your dark teeth. Your cosmetic dentist can create a personalized treatment plan to give you the bright, beautiful smile you deserve. Depending on the cause of the discoloration, they’ll transform your teeth using popular solutions, such as:
- Whitening Treatments: Unfortunately, both OTC and in-office whitening treatments can have little effect on gray teeth, but there are some exceptions, such as if antibiotics were the cause.
- Veneers: A veneer covers the entire surface of a tooth to hide several imperfections, like discoloration or chips. You can correct multiple issues at once to improve the overall color, size, and shape of your teeth.
- Crowns: A crown covers the entire surface of a tooth to repair or prevent damage. Nowadays, they are made of porcelain to look natural. A crown might be needed along with a root canal to treat an infected tooth.
Don’t let your dark teeth weigh you down any longer. Your cosmetic dentist can revamp your smile to give you bright, stunning teeth you’ll want to show off.
About Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury
Dr. Stansbury has over 44 years of experience in dentistry. He earned his dental degree at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. He has the skills and qualifications to create healthy, attractive smiles using the latest treatments and techniques. If you’re ready to reveal a brighter smile, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.