This GREY TOOTH bothers me so much!!!

This GREY TOOTH bothers me so much!!!

Dental Monthly

By Dr. Elena Speranza Moll

This GREY TOOTH bothers me so much!!!

Yes, I can understand that you feel a bit embarrassed when your discoloured tooth is visible while talking. Especially if all your other teeth are well aligned and more or less of the same colour.

Why did this happen?… and how do I get rid of it?

It all happens gradually and at one point you realise: “I do not like the look of my smile anymore, because I have a GREY TOOTH in my mouth!!”

Now, it is not always grey, it can also be brown, orange, or purple, and I have even seen green teeth…..


Reason #1/   

The tooth has a necrotic or dead nerve on the inside. The nerve died because of trauma. You bit too hard (a small stone in a salad), or you hit your tooth accidentally.  But you might have also had a very deep cavity, which caused the nerve to die. Even years after you had it filled, sometimes a nerve can no longer cope with this deep and big filling you are chewing with. And maybe you are also clenching or grinding it…. All this may cause the tooth to die and slowly loose its original colour, because the nerve is decomposing inside the root (see Dental Monthly October 21).

What to do?                                                                                                                                               

Usually a root canal treatment does the trick, finalising it all with an aesthetic white filling or inlay or crown.


Reason #2/                                                                                                                                                         

The tooth has already undergone a root-canal treatment and after that it has changed colour.  “Now how is that!?!

Wasn’t that supposed to be the solution #1??”

“Yes, certainly,… but here the dentist may have made a mistake. Or maybe the anatomy of the root-canal is very unusual and difficult to clean out.”

A/The treatment in either case results in an insufficient final sealing of the canals. (This can be only be ascertained by an invasive radiographic CB/CT scan.) Dead nerves may have remained in the roots and therefore discolouration has occurred from the root up to the crown.

B/But also the material the dentist has used to fill the canals may cause staining that goes from the root to the crown.

What needs to be done in these cases?

We need to redo the root-canal treatment, so again solution #1.

But not only. This time we also want to perform an internal bleaching to make sure that all the staining is removed. Not only from the crown, but also from the root which may otherwise shine grey through the gums.


Reason #3/

An old leaking amalgam filling may stain the crown of the tooth so grey shines through the enamel.

Solution: Very easy. Substitute the amalgam filling with a new aesthetic filling or inlay.

Attention:   Remember that the usual external whitening treatment of teeth usually does not remove the difference in colour if there is one specific discoloured tooth. The reason is inside the tooth, as I have described above.


For any questions, you can reach out to Elena at one of our WIN meetings or contact Studio Moll


For any questions, you can contact Studio Moll

Whatsapp: 331-6368628, or tel: 055-755347

For more information, look up Studio Moll’s YouTube channel and here too.


By Dr. Elena Speranza Moll

Studio Moll
Via Amilcare Ponchielli 21B, 50018 Scandicci –Firenze
Tel: 055-755347
WhatsApp: 331-6362682

Follow me on Youtube

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