Tooth Discoloration After Trauma: What’s Next?


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When trauma occurs, a tooth can change color from pearly white to black (and several shades in between). The idea may immediately conjure images of a hockey player who recently took a puck to the mouth. But the injury doesn’t have to be anything so drastic. It can be caused by anything from slipping while on the sidewalk to getting elbowed by a partner who is a restless sleeper. Can the tooth be saved and even returned to its natural color? Read on to learn more about tooth discoloration due to trauma.

Why May a Damaged Tooth Turn Black or Gray?

Much like other parts of your body, your teeth can bleed internally after an injury. The blood leaks in through the dental nerves and discolors the pulp of the tooth. The cause of tooth discoloration is usually due to blood getting into the pulp of the tooth. Darkening can continue over several days, weeks, or even months if allowed unchecked. A damaged tooth, however, doesn’t need to end up becoming a dead tooth. Here is a way that your dentist can help.

Pulp Removal Can Recover Your Tooth

Pulp removal, or a root canal, may actually reverse the color change. Since the pulp of the tooth has become stained, leading to the change in color, removing the dead or damaged pulp can restore your natural brightness. You will want an experienced dentist to carry out this process so that the stained dentin can be carefully removed.

Does My Child Need a Root Canal?

Most of the time, the color will return to a child’s tooth within a few days. If this does not occur, it is a good idea to see an endodontist. If the tooth is not one of the child’s permanent teeth, consideration will be given to whether or not the damage will affect the tooth falling out naturally. If your child already has his or her permanent teeth, a root canal may save them from the embarrassment of a dead tooth.

Pearly Whites Despite an Injury

Anyone can fall, get into an accident, or in some other way end up with a discolored tooth. The secret is not to allow time for the damage to continue and spread. Your dentist can help you to restore your tooth back to its natural color using a root canal.

While a scar may be considered a good conversation piece, a black tooth is not something that anyone wants to have. If you’ve been injured, see if your dentist can fix the problem with a root canal. Before long, you’ll be back to smiling widely for the camera.

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Tooth Discoloration After Trauma: What's Next?
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Can the tooth be saved and even returned to its natural color? Read on to learn more about tooth discoloration due to trauma.

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Gary Leff
Gary Leff

Dr Gary Leff is a nationally recognized Endodontist and root canal specialist in Northern Virginia. For more information on Dr. Leff, visit http://www.va-rootcanal.com .

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