Discoloration of teeth: caries, periodontitis, trauma, making an appointment with a doctor


The condition of the oral cavity, the color of the teeth can tell a lot about the health of the patient. An experienced dentist, based on the location of carious cavities, the condition of the mucosa, can suggest a particular diagnosis and give appropriate recommendations. Why does the tooth turn pink, black, blue? When do you need to exclude caries, trauma, poor-quality prosthetics?

Teeth color: norm and pathology

Normally, teeth should have a light color — white with various shades of yellow and gray. Color largely depends on age and health, we must not forget about individuality. But if the teeth have acquired an unusual color, then this is a reason to pick up the phone and make an appointment with the dentist.

In some cases, discoloration of teeth is associated with bad habits, caries, periodontitis, trauma, prosthetic features, or may indicate whitening errors. These are just some of the possible reasons when the color of the tooth (teeth) changes dramatically.

Some changes are temporary, that is, treatment in the dentist’s chair can correct the situation, in other cases, therapeutic treatment does not bring any results, cardinal methods are needed, for example, prosthetics, veneers, lumineers, or a whitening procedure.

Discoloration of teeth in caries

Discoloration of teeth in caries

Caries is a pathological process of tooth decay and is one of the most common causes of tooth discoloration. Already in the early stages of the development of caries, one can notice the formation of a chalky spot, the enamel loses its natural luster, it seems lifeless.

Gradually, when caries affects the enamel and passes to the dentin, the stain becomes more pronounced, noticeable. It is worth noting that the enamel is translucent, and it is the dentin that determines the color of the tooth. The visible cavity on the enamel may be insignificant, but the lesion in the dentin may be more extensive. Consequently, the enamel transmits the color of the affected dentin, and the tooth appears dark-colored, of varying degrees of hue.

The appearance of symptoms of caries: a change in the color of the crown of the tooth, the appearance of a reaction to hot, cold, sour and sweet is always a reason to make an appointment with the dentist.

Caries is the case when timely treatment will correct the color of the tooth crown, and only with the help of filling.


Periodontitis is an inflammation of tissues, united under the term «periodontium». This is the name of the connective tissue complex located in the space between the alveolus of the jaw and the cementum of the tooth root. As a rule, this is a complication of caries that develops when there is no timely treatment. Initially, caries turns into pulpitis or immediately into a chronic form, and in the absence of treatment — into periodontitis.

Chronic forms of periodontitis are often unrecognized for a long time, because there are no symptoms. Only with an exacerbation of periodontitis, symptoms are formed that are difficult to ignore: pain that increases when biting on an aching tooth, and the pain can be so severe that patients cannot close their mouths. Irritants can be cold air, food.

If we talk about objective symptoms, then when examining the causative tooth, a significant change in its color can be noted: the tooth loses its natural luster, it seems gray, lifeless. As the process develops, the color of the tooth changes, becomes gray-brown, gradually the color progresses, worsens.

Periodontitis is the case in which even therapeutic treatment cannot fully restore the original color of the tooth. Therefore, to preserve the aesthetics of a smile, additional procedures are recommended: endo whitening, composite restoration, prosthetics, lumineers, etc.


Trauma is another common cause of tooth discoloration, with it taking on a very specific coloration—turning pink. This coloration can be explained by the rupture of the tooth pulp. Dentin, which has a tubular structure, is impregnated with it, and due to the refraction of color, the tooth becomes pink.

Any injury can provoke such changes: blows to the face, sports injuries, direct blows to the teeth, as well as some mistakes in dental treatment. The color of the teeth does not change instantly, but only after a while, its intensity also increases gradually.

It may be possible to correct the situation, restore the natural color of the tooth with the help of the endo-whitening procedure, but if this does not bring positive results, the only way out will be prosthetics: crowns, veneers, lumineers, etc.

If the tooth and gums turn blue

Prosthetics is one of the methods to restore lost teeth or save them from extraction. There are a number of requirements for materials that can be used in prosthetics, which must be strictly followed.

For example: when prosthetics of the front teeth, it is recommended to use non-metal constructions. Otherwise, as a result of wearing, the metal rim, which is hidden under the gum, contributes to its blue coloration. Gradually, the gum becomes cyanotic, and the color intensity intensifies and spreads throughout the gum.

The color of the gums becomes more intense, due to which adjacent teeth may appear with a changed shade — bluish. Even redesigning the structure will not return the gums to their original color quickly, it will take time.

If the tooth is black

Recently, the aesthetics of a smile have been given great importance, and if it is a question of discoloration of the tooth due to trauma, periodontitis or other complications of caries, the dentist may suggest an endo-whitening procedure.

Its technical execution requires certain skills and precision. If the dentist makes the slightest mistake, instead of a snow-white smile and teeth, the color will change dramatically. The tooth will become literally black.

It is possible to correct the situation, but only using cardinal methods of treatment: prosthetics, installation of veneers.

When should you make an appointment with the dentist?

When should you make an appointment with the dentist?

It is worth noting that you need to make an appointment with the dentist every six months for preventive examinations. Thus, it will be possible to timely identify caries and its complications, to carry out a number of procedures that will help maintain a snow-white smile.

The following symptoms should promptly make an appointment with a dentist:

  • pain;
  • discoloration of teeth;
  • the appearance of an unpleasant odor;
  • tooth decay.


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