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Tooth Broke in Half, Black Inside – Should You Be Worried?

by Melanie Peterson

Teeth breaking isn’t something that happens every day. Our teeth have layers, making them strong enough to withstand all kinds of pressure. However, with time, they can become weak and brittle. When that happens, your dentist will need to have a good look at them, so click here for 3D dental imaging and give yourself some peace of mind. Once our Cone Beam dental CT scanner shows a clear picture, your dentist will know what to do next.

But why do teeth break in the first place? There can be a multitude of reasons. Many people attribute breakage to biting into something firm. However, more often than not, we hear stories about people breaking teeth while chewing bread or other semi-firm or soft foods.

If you see that your tooth is black inside after breaking, that can be one of the underlying causes for breakage. Tooth decay is common, but one of the causes can also be pulp necrosis. After all, many people report that they don’t feel any pain associated with their tooth breaking, so we shouldn’t be surprised if something unexpected turns out to be the cause of the issue. 

So, without further ado: your tooth broke in half, no pain, but it’s black inside? Let’s talk more in-depth about the causes and how you can get help.

What Is a Cone Beam CT Scan?

We’ve mentioned that your dentist will need to have a good look at your teeth after breakage, especially if you’re experiencing pain. Unfortunately, dental X-ray scans of today aren’t always able to show your doctor the whole picture. That’s why 3D scans are important.

Our dental Cone Beam CT scan is state-of-the-art technology, helping our dental technicians see most bones and even soft tissues in your mouth. This allows for better diagnosing and even precise installment of dental implants. Basically, the 3D image of your teeth is the best way your dentist will be able to come up with a treatment plan that’s suited to you and your needs.

Many people worry about any kind of X-ray scanners because of radiation exposure. This modern technology has allowed us to keep our patients as safe as possible. How come? Cone Beam CT scanner does expose patients to some amount of radiation, but that amount is significantly lower than with regular CT scanners. Plus, even though our Cone Beam dental scanner gives us 3D images, we can also use it to obtain the same scans regular scanners offer.

Underlying Causes for Black Teeth

So, your tooth broke in half, black inside, pain or no pain – what’s the reason for this? You can blame it on several causes. They include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Pulp necrosis
  • Stains

Tooth Decay

This is the most obvious reason why your broken tooth may be black inside. Well, it’s the first thing people usually think of. It’s not rare for the bacteria to find its way to the center of your tooth. Sometimes it isn’t even visible on the outside, so you won’t know what your teeth are decaying.

If your tooth is black inside and you’re dealing with tooth decay, it’s likely that the pulp and nerves are damaged too. In this case, you’re usually going to experience some pain. Pain is a normal side-effect of a broken tooth, especially if your nerves are exposed.

Pulp Necrosis

Pulp inflammation can happen for many reasons. The most common include tooth trauma and tooth decay. These cause the pulp in your tooth to lose blood or simply not have enough of it. When your pulp is inflamed, your tooth will be sensitive to hot and cold.

When pulp inflammation goes untreated, pulp necrosis takes the stage. You’ll notice the change from inflammation to necrosis because your tooth will lose all sensitivity. This often makes people think that the problem is gone until it becomes more severe. 


Teeth staining doesn’t only come from external factors. In fact, you should differentiate between extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains to your teeth come from dark foods and beverages. Those include coffee, green or black tea, etc.

Since your tooth broke in half and it’s back inside, we’re talking about intrinsic stains. These stains aren’t common because what causes them is usually antibiotics. Of course, not all antibiotics cause internal teeth staining. This usually happens when children are prescribed medicine, such as tetracycline.

When and How to Seek Help?

Many people believe that a broken tooth isn’t a dental emergency. That’s especially if the break doesn’t bother them, and there’s no pain involved. However, there are many ways in which a broken tooth can cause trouble. In fact, there can be an underlying infection there, or bacteria can start settling in and have easy access to your pulp and nerves.

If you ignore your broken tooth for too long, it will start to bother you eventually. You may feel pain or sensitivity in changes of temperature. When that does happen, your tooth may be unsalvageable.

So, when should you seek help after breaking a tooth? The simple answer is — immediately! Call your dentist and schedule an appointment. Most of the breaks or chips can be fixed with a simple filling. We know you’d rather get that or even a dental crown than a tooth extraction. Put your dental care first, and don’t wait until it hurts to fix a broken tooth.

There’s No Need to Worry!

So you have diagnosed the problem, but should you worry? Of course not! That’s not because broken teeth aren’t a problem, but because we have your back. Schedule an appointment, get a 3D scan with our Cone Beam, and let’s figure out the best treatment plan for you.

We know that seeing a black tooth can seem like a big deal. However, putting your trust in our dental technicians will make any toothache go away. Pulp necrosis, tooth decay, or a simple stain — we have all the tools and knowledge to deal with any kind of dental issue.

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