Think fast: what color are your teeth supposed to be? Acceptable answers would be white, off-white and even slightly yellow. Now, if your teeth are the color of Cheetos residue, then something is definitely wrong. But if your teeth have a slightly yellow tinge? That doesn’t mean they’re unhealthy, per se. You should probably just brush a little more often.
However, there are some colors that your teeth should never be. Black, for instance. If you ever allow a tooth to become black, you seriously ignored your dental hygiene. But what if the change is a little more subtle? What if your tooth is turning grey or a similar color – it’s noticeable, but not that alarming. So what does it all mean? Here are four possible reasons your tooth is getting a little gray:
You have a cavity
If the discoloration is accompanied by pain, then this is the most likely reason. Cavities are essentially small holes in your teeth or between teeth, and sometimes they can appear discolored. Your best bet is to check for other symptoms, such as the aforementioned pain or sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
You have intrinsic stains
Sometimes our bodies have strange reactions to certain medications, and grey teeth can be one of the side effects of antibiotics. If you’re taking tetracycline antibiotics, this is a common unintended result.
You suffered trauma
If you’ve taken a direct hit to your mouth that caused tooth discoloration, you should visit your dentist immediately. This change in color is the result of extra iron in the bloodstream due to inflammation. If your body took a strong enough hit to elicit a physical response, you need to be checked out.
You’re dealing with fluorosis
This is a fairly benign condition, as long as it is dealt with quickly. Fluorosis is what happens after too much exposure to fluoride in water. And considering that fluoride is naturally added to many municipal water supplies, this condition can happen almost anywhere.