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Gray Teeth — What Causes Them, and How Can You Fix Them?

August 20, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — e_anderson @ 2:16 am
Woman covering mouth to hide her gray teeth

Practically everyone wants a bright white smile, but that can be difficult to achieve. Over the counter whitening products can do a little to get rid of any yellow tint that might be affecting your smile, but what if you have gray teeth? As you’ll find out in this blog, gray teeth can be caused by a number of different factors. Fortunately, such issues can usually be corrected with professional treatment.


Some individuals have a rare genetic disorder known as dentinogenesis imperfecta, which can cause both adult and baby teeth to look grayish blue. The teeth may also be weaker than they should be. If you believe you have this condition, your dentist will evaluate the problem and propose a solution. Depending on the health and strength of your teeth, veneers or other restorations may be able to give you the bright smile you deserve.


Tetracycline is a common antibiotic medication that can cause permanent gray stains in teeth, particularly in people who are exposed to it while in the womb or during their first few years of life. Your cosmetic dentist might recommend a professional whitening treatment. However, teeth bleaching isn’t effective in all tetracycline cases. Depending on your unique situation, your dentist might recommend that you disguise the stains instead of trying to remove them. Dental bonding and veneers are both natural-looking ways to hide the grayness and achieve a bright, uniformly colored smile.

Dental Restorations

If you have old silver amalgam fillings, not only are the fillings themselves dark, but they can also stain the surrounding dentition. Your dentist might be able to replace the fillings with tooth-colored ones. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can also look somewhat gray, especially when the crown’s inner lining is visible through the porcelain exterior. An all-porcelain crown is a more aesthetically pleasing option.

Dead Teeth

Teeth are made up of a few different layers. The center of a tooth contains its nerve and pulp, which enable the tooth to feel sensation continue receiving nutrients from your blood. If the nerve inside a tooth dies, it can make the entire tooth look gray or black. This indicates a serious problem and requires prompt treatment. Without root canal therapy or another restorative procedure, any infection in the tooth can spread to the surrounding tissue and continue to cause harm. After root canal therapy, you may receive a metal-free crown to restore the tooth’s strength and beauty. If the tooth has to be extracted, a dental implant or bridge may be able to replace it.

Gray teeth are often just an aesthetic problem — but in some cases, they indicate a serious oral health issue! Your dentist can help you say goodbye to the gray and take care of your precious smile.

Meet the Dentist

Dr. Erick Anderson is a general and cosmetic dentist in Colorado Springs with decades of experience. Teeth whitening, veneers, dental bonding, and root canal therapy are just a few of the many services he offers. If you would like to consult with him about how you can address your gray teeth, contact our office at 719-593-0988.

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