Black Spots on Teeth: Causes and Home Remedies

By Patricia | December 16, 2012

Black spots on teeth may not be a cause for concern, but can be very embarrassing especially when socializing with people. Black spots on teeth occur due to discoloration or the presence of bacterial infecton of the teeth. Discoloration reflects the poor maintenance of oral health and can be an unnerving problem.

Causes and Home Remedies

A black spot on the tooth or several black spots on the front teeth can be upsetting.  Black staining of teeth causes black spots on teeth. Black spots can occur anywhere on teeth. They may be visible on the front teeth,  present on the molars, and can be hidden in between the teeth. The visible discoloration, leading to an unsightly smile and can be noticed easily. However, if the discoloration is due to external factors, it can be resolved easily. The discoloration or black spot occurs due to the damage of enamel by bacteria that causes tooth decay. Bacteria utilize food bits and release acids that cause damage to the enamel.


Discoloration or even a black spot on teeth is not caused by any specific medical condition. Tooth decay is the prime and supposedly only cause. The black spot is a cavity and bacteria that reside in the mouth release acids, causing the decay of teeth. All black spots may not be a sign of decay. It may be due to discoloration of inner or outer enamel of the tooth. Excessive exposure to fluorides, harsh minerals, and chemicals and use of antibiotics can cause discoloration of the inner layer of the tooth, the dentin. This is highly probable in the case of pregnant women. The outer layer can be discolored due to several common causes including:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Bad diet
  • Smoking
  • Dental caries
  • Sugar-based foods
  • Greasy, sticky foods
  • Acidic foods
  • Excessive fluoride
  • Tobacco
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Drugs like tetracycline
  • Calculus
  • Leaking amalgam restorations

How to get rid of black spots on teeth?

Treatment for black spots on teeth depends on the cause. If black spots are extrinsic in nature, cleaning by a dentist can help to remove the stain. Stubborn stains can be removed using cosmetic dentistry procedures. Whitening methods and bleaching are also used to treat black spots on teeth. If the cause of black spots on teeth is not an internal factor, it can be treated easily. It can be prevented by giving dental care a top priority. There are several home remedies that help to get rid of black spots on teeth.

  • Bay leaf is particularly useful to treat black spots. The chemical, cineole, which is present in bay leaves helps to kill dental bacteria.
  • Using a homemade powder in order to clean the teeth can effectively keep black spots away. Mix sea salt with baking soda, and use the mixture to clean your teeth. Sea salt and tartar mixture helps to remove black spots on teeth as well as tartar.
  • Fresh strawberries are efficient teeth cleaner. Cut strawberries into two halves and the inner portion could be useful for cleaning teeth.
  • Licorice powder contains indole and glycyrrhizin that can kill bacteria.
  • Lime juice is helpful to clean teeth and make them shine.
  • You can use a soft bristled toothbrush to rub your teeth with sodium bicarbonate. Toothpaste that contains sodium bicarbonate can also help whiten your teeth and reduce any kind of staining.
  • There are some foods that require a lot of chewing. Such foods are known to help whiten teeth. Foods like apple, celery, cabbage, and carrots are known to cleanse teeth naturally through their soft abrasive action on the teeth.
  • There are several treatment methods that dentists use. These methods like brightening and scaling of teeth can help you get rid of black marks on the teeth.
  • There are many self cleaning and teeth brightening kits that can be used to clean and brighten black specks on the teeth.

Prevention of Dental Problems

  • Proper dental hygiene practices such as brushing, rinsing, flossing can prevent bacterial attack and keep oral diseases at bay.
  • Diet also plays a vital role in preventing tooth decay. Ensure to include plenty of raw vegetables and fruits. Eating whole grain, nuts, and legumes helps. Avoid carbonated and aerated drinks, greasy foods and products made from white sugar. Include plenty of fluids in your diet.
  • Regular dental checkups can go a long way in preventing oral problems and diseases.
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