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HomeAnswersDentistrydental traumaWhy did my tooth color change post-trauma?

Why does a tooth change color after trauma?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At February 17, 2019
Reviewed AtMay 7, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

When I was 11 years old, I was knocked off my bike and cracked my front tooth in half horizontally, shortly after the dentist fixed it. Since then I have had no problems with it and had multiple x-rays to check on it. When it happened, the color of the tooth changed very slightly, to a very slightly more yellow shade than the rest of my teeth. I am curious to know what happened when the trauma occurred. Did my tooth die? What are they checking for when they x-ray the tooth?


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have been through your query and can understand your concern.

Any trauma to the tooth generally has long-term consequences like tooth discoloration, etc. As you said that your tooth was fractured, it might have led to a slight injury to the pulp or even if not so, the fracture line would have been close to the pulp. In both cases, the pulp over time starts to become non-vital sometimes due to injury and sometimes due to the restorative material lying in close proximity to the pulp. This over time results in the discoloration of the tooth. The characteristic feature of this discoloration will be that only the involved tooth will be discolored and other teeth will be normal or not discolored. If that is the case, it generally means that the tooth is in the process of becoming non-vital till the tooth becomes slight brownish black which means the tooth is entirely non-vital. It is generally not associated with any kind of pain as the process is chronic and takes time to set in. I would advise you to have a visit to your nearest dentist. He would prescribe a vitality test of the tooth and also would get an x-ray for the tooth. By that way, he would come to know if the tooth is dead or still vital and accordingly will propose treatment. If the tooth is vital, he will put some medication over the pulp to let it heal and then fill with the pulp friendly restoration. However, if the tooth is dead, I would suggest you to go for the root canal treatment (after evaluating the condition of the tooth and soft tissue).

Meanwhile, keep your oral hygiene good, brush twice daily and floss regularly. Use mouth rinses to clean the mouth after meals.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Himayoon Majeed Mir
Dr. Himayoon Majeed Mir


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