Dentin is the hard, dense, bony tissue that forms the bulk of your tooth underneath the enamel. This is a calcified part of your body that’s made of 70% hydroxylapatite, 20% organic material, and 10% water.
It’s then protected by your tooth’s enamel. When it grows dark or black it’s usually because of one of two reasons – extrinsic or intrinsic causes.
Extrinsic Causes of Dentin Darkening
Extrinsic damage comes from outside of your teeth. This includes staining, tartar, and other damage that affects your outer dental enamel. Staining typically occurs when you eat or drink dark-colored foods like tea and cola. It can also occur when you take certain medications like liquid iron supplements.
On the other hand, tartar is a hard deposit of plaque that builds up on your teeth beneath the gum line. Sometimes tartar looks black. Additionally, it’s also important to note that tobacco smoking or chewing can significantly stain your teeth as well.
Intrinsic Causes of Dentin Darkening
Intrinsic damage starts on the inside of your teeth and progresses outward. This occurs when your tooth is decaying or damaged. Usually, this won’t cause your tooth to turn black overnight.
Instead, it will take time. Ideally, you can come see us before the damage becomes too great. Nevertheless, it’s still important to note what some of the common extrinsic and intrinsic causes of black teeth include.
One thing that does this is cavities. They’re caused by bacteria that destroy your tooth’s enamel and leaves small holes behind. These holes will usually take on a dark appearance.
Additionally, dental restoration such as fillings and crowns can cause teeth to appear. This is because they contain amalgam – silver sulfide in specific.
When you notice your dentin growing dark, you’ll want to make an appointment for us to remove or treat it.