Why Is My Tooth Gray?

Smiling man with gray teeth

You may have noticed something different in the mirror one morning. Your teeth are turning gray. This normally doesn’t happen all at once, but rather gradually over time. Today’s blog from Northside Dental Clinic explains why your tooth is turning gray. 

Tooth Decay

The number one cause of a gray tooth is decay. Your tooth turns gray because blood flow to the tooth is cut off. Your tooth can still survive without the blood vessels going to it because your adult teeth only need the blood while the teeth are developing and coming in. However, you may need to take care of the decay that is affecting part of your gray tooth. Northside Dental Clinic can help you develop an oral hygiene regimen to prevent further tooth decay.


Your teeth may turn gray simply because you’re getting older. As you age, your body gradually changes its biochemical processes. This may alter the way your tooth receives nutrients or how the blood flows to the tooth. You may see gray-blue teeth in the mirror as you get older.


Anything that cuts off blood flow to your tooth can cause it to turn gray, including tooth trauma. Tooth trauma comes in many forms, but it may happen due to an accident or sports injury. For example, you might chip a tooth when you accidentally hit your head on an object.


Tetracycline is an antibiotic drug that fights infections. If a doctor prescribes tetracycline, a gray tooth is one of the side effects that may happen in children. That’s because the drug gets inside the developing adult teeth before they come in, and this turns the enamel a shade of gray.

How do I get rid of gray teeth?

Northside Dental Clinic recommends several ways to combat gray teeth. If they aren’t caused by tooth decay, you generally don’t have to worry about the gray color.

  1. Teeth whitening. A treatment with teeth whitening toothpaste can help lessen the gray color. There are also teeth whitening strips for at-home use you can buy over-the-counter. Your dentist’s office can sell you an at-home bleaching kit with a fitted mouthguard to whiten your teeth.
  2. Natural tooth whiteners such as baking soda can help with gray teeth.
  3. Veneers can cover up your gray teeth from the front.

The key to whitening gray teeth is to maintain them. There isn’t a one-and-done solution for gray teeth. You’ll have to keep going with whitening options, except for veneers. Northside Dental Clinic can take a look at your gray teeth and recommend a treatment option.

Who can help me with my gray teeth? 

Northside Dental Clinic wants you to have your best possible smile. You deserve to see that beautiful row of pearly whites looking back at you in the mirror! Contact Northside Dental Clinic online or call (417) 862-2468 to schedule an appointment.