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5 Causes of Gray Teeth

October 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dpsmilesteam @ 5:20 am
Woman covering her mouth

Everyone wants to have a beautiful, white smile. However, this isn’t the case for many of us, as discoloration is a reality. You may even see some less familiar shades in your smile. Instead of yellow, teeth can appear gray or blueish. There are many reasons why this can occur, but you don’t necessarily need to settle with it. Here are some of the causes of gray teeth and what your dentist can do about them.

The Causes of Gray Teeth

Exposure to Antibiotics

The Journal of International Oral Health reports that exposure to the common infection fighting antibiotic, tetracycline, while in the womb or as a young child can cause discoloration in the future adult teeth. Teeth that are affected develop blue-gray or yellow-brown stains, often in horizontal stripes.

Old Dental Restorations

If you have an amalgam filling, metal crown, or another restoration, this could cause your teeth to appear blueish or gray. This is more common with older dental restorations, but they can usually be replaced by a dentist to have a more natural, white appearance.

Dead Teeth

If just one or a couple teeth turn blue or gray, this could mean that the teeth have died. This can be caused by anything that cuts off blood flow to the tooth. Trauma to the tooth may not result in a change in color for many years, so a lot of the time, people don’t even realize what caused the discoloration.

Dentinogenesis Imperfecta

This is a rare, hereditary disorder of tooth development that can make baby and permanent teeth appear blue or gray. This condition also weakens the teeth, making them more prone to damage.


Your teeth become discolored over time simply due to aging. This can cause them to appear more yellow or grayish-blue.

Treatments for Gray Teeth

Whitening treatments tend to work best on teeth that have yellow discoloration, but it may still help. Here are some of the treatments that your dentist may suggest:

  • Professional teeth whitening: If you have surface discoloration, professional teeth whitening may do the trick.
  • Dental veneers: These are semi-permanent shells of porcelain placed over the front surface of the teeth to cover up imperfections.
  • New restorations: If your gray teeth are a result of old restorations, your dentist may be able to replace them with tooth-colored ones.

Discoloration is common, but there are solutions out there. By talking to your dental team, you can come up with a plan to best meet the goals that you have for your smile!

About the Author

Dr. Dan Passidomo is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for well over two decades. He earned his dental doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and is committed to continuing education to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. Currently, he is a proud member of the Dayton Dental Society, Ohio Dental Society, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentists, Academy of Cosmetic Dentists, and South Metro Chamber of Commerce. If you have gray teeth, he’d be happy to help. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Centerville, visit his website or call (937) 886-9935.

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