The first rule of dental hygiene is that you shouldn't always expect your teeth to be perfectly white. They have a yellow layer underneath, known as dentin, and can be stained in other colors.

Grey stains may be alarming, especially if they don't go away. They're so different from the standard color that you'll assume something is wrong, and it might be.

Read on to learn what causes grey teeth and how to fix it.

Causes of Grey Teeth

The issues that cause grey teeth can be as serious as a dying tooth or as mild as aging. Knowing the reason is the best way to get the proper treatment.


Tetracycline is an antibiotic that can cause teeth not fully developed to turn grey.

This is most common in children who are under eight years old. It can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy.

Dental Restorations

Dental restorations can fix the following:
  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Discoloration
  • Decay
  • Missing teeth
The material used during the procedure can cause discoloration. They show through your teeth's natural enamel or the porcelain surface covering them. This makes it look blue or gray.

Root canals can cause grey teeth if any pulp tissue or material is left over. The medication you take afterward may also be at fault. Ledermix and Ultracal XS both have active ingredients that can cause tooth discoloration.

Tooth Trauma or Decay

Grey teeth are one step away from black, a clear sign of necrosis or tissue death. They're not getting the blood flow that they need.

This may come from trauma, such as hitting your tooth while playing sports. The grey stains may only show up for a short time.

90% of adults 20-64 years old have tooth decay. This is another common reason your tooth may turn gray and needs to be fixed before it spreads.

Dentigonesis Imperfecta

This is a rare hereditary disorder. It may be one of the most minor common causes of gray teeth because it only affects one in every 15,000-20,000 children.

The condition makes teeth translucent or gives them a permanent blue-gray shade. It also makes permanent teeth misaligned, weaker, and prone to breakage.

Treatment Options For Gray Teeth

Cosmetic dentistry services can restore your smile to its original luster. They're available after restorative services or if you're not satisfied with the color of your teeth.

Teeth whitening treatments don't work well on grey teeth or stains caused by antibiotics such as tetracycline. They do help in most other cases, and you can try:
  • In-office whitening procedures
  • Whitening toothpaste or gels
  • Whitening strip kits

Dental veneers and crowns are a more permanent option. They're a custom-made resin that goes over your teeth to give it a whiter shade.

More Dental Health Information

Grey teeth can signify trauma and decay or come after procedures to fix these issues. Rare disorders or certain antibiotics can also cause them. Cosmetic dentistry treatments include whitenings, veneers, and crowns.

Read the rest of our content for more tips to improve your dental health.