Why Do I Have Black Teeth? Causes & Solutions

4 min read


A bright, shining smile is one of the most important features, and one of the first things people may notice when meeting you. However, if you’ve seen your teeth discolouring, turning black or darker in colour, it may affect your confidence as well as your overall health. Understanding the causes black teeth and looking at potential solutions can help you regain your smile’s radiance and restore your dental health.

The Main Causes of Black Teeth

Poor Dental Hygiene: Neglecting daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups can lead to a buildup of tartar and plaque on the teeth. Over time, this may cause tooth decay leading to discoloration, which can make your teeth appear dark brown or even black in some cases.

Dietary Choices: Consuming foods and drinks high in tannins, like coffee, tea, red wine, and certain foods such as berries, can discolour your teeth. Tannins are present in some foods and can cause staining. As well as this, frequent consumption of sugary or acidic foods can contribute to problems like enamel erosion and discoloration.

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Tobacco products contain nicotine and tar, which will stain teeth and therefore can contribute to the formation of black deposits on the tooth enamel.

Dental Materials: A lesser known cause of tooth discolouration is that some dental materials, such as silver amalgam fillings, can oxidize over time. This can eventually cause a gray or black discoloration of the surrounding tooth structure.

Medications: Certain medications, such as antipsychotics, iron supplements, and some antibiotics, can cause tooth discoloration as a side effect.

Dental Trauma: Trauma or injury to a tooth can lead to tooth discolouration caused by internal bleeding or necrosis. This makes the tooth darken or blacken from the inside out.

Genetics: Some people naturally have darker or more yellowish teeth, this can be due to genetic factors. Although this isn’t as noticeable during the younger years, it may become more obvious over time.

Solutions for Black Teeth

Professional Dental Cleaning: Regular cleanings at the dentist can remove surface stains, plaque, and tartar. This not only improves the health of your teeth, it also can restore your teeth’s natural colour and shine. Professional whitening treatments can also be effective in brightening your smile and helps to remove stubborn staining. Toothfairy’s whitening gels are prescription-grade, so they’re super effective at whitening teeth, while being safe to use and not causing sensitivity!

Improved Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good dental hygiene habits, including brushing teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and also using an antiseptic, antibacterial mouthwash, can prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay, therefore preventing black teeth.

Dietary Changes: Trying to limit your consumption of stain-causing foods and drinks while opting for a balanced diet rich in vitamin C and calcium can help protect your teeth from decay and any further discolouration.

Quitting Smoking and Tobacco: Giving up smoking and using tobacco products can significantly reduce the risk of tooth staining, gum disease, and oral cancer. Therefore improving both your oral health and overall wellbeing in the process.

Replacing Dental Materials: If silver amalgam fillings or other dental materials are the reason behind discolouration, consider replacing them with tooth-colored composite fillings for a more natural appearance. Toothfairy also offer composite bonding to help elevate our patients’ smiles!

Consult Your Dentist or Doctor: If you’re concerned that any medication, dental trauma, or genetics may be contributing to your black teeth, consulting your dentist or healthcare provider is the next step to enquire about personalised advice and treatment options.

Teeth Whitening with Toothfairy

Toothfairy offers teeth whitening kits to help patients who aren’t happy with the colour of their teeth. We provide dentist-prescribed whitening gels to be used in conjunction with our bespoke aligners, so you can whiten while you straighten your teeth, or just opt for our whitening trays for a super even and effective whitening experience. As well as this, we also have our own Halo LED whitening light device, which can be used for 60 minutes per day to accelerate the whitening gels further. A course of Toothfairy whitening can help to remove tooth stains and improve discolouration by whitening and brightening the teeth!


Black teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, from poor oral hygiene and dietary choices, to dental trauma and even genetics. It is important to first understand the underlying causes of tooth discolouration, and then implement appropriate solutions. By doing this, you can restore and maintain the brightness and health of your smile. Remember, regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are a great way to ensure optimal dental health as well as remove stains. Plus, good oral hygiene practises are essential for preventing tooth discoloration and ensuring a radiant and healthy smile for years to come!

Last updated on May 7, 2024

Dr. Deepak Aulak

Dr. Deepak Aulak is a London-based dental practitioner with a special interest in cosmetic dentistry. Having graduated from King's College London in Dentistry, Dr. Aulak was decorated with over a dozen awards and scholarships along the way, which notably include the Jelf Medal, Malleson Prize for research and GKT Hospital's Full Shields.


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