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Julian Chen
Julian Chen, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 568
Experience:  Practicing General Dentist since 2002
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When my wisdom teeth were pulled the roots were black. Why?

Customer Question

When my wisdom teeth were pulled the roots were black. Why?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Julian Chen replied 8 years ago.

Roots, in general, are quite a few shades darker than the enamel. The coloration can vary greatly between patient to patient but this all depends on the natural color of your dentin and cementum. However, a few other artifacts/situations can make the roots appear even darker.

Do you know if they were ever root-canal-treated?

- Root-canal-treated teeth often stain and discolor internally. The crowns become dark and the roots even darker. Though they never turn pitch-black, they can turn various shades of dark grey to brown.

Did you see the teeth/roots immediately after the extraction on the tray or were they cleaned off with peroxide/bleach first and you saw them after all blood and tissue were debrided off and the roots were still dark/black?

- If you saw the teeth immediately after they were extract, it is likely the dark blood clots that has started to form around the roots. Oftentimes, there is a fair amount of bleeding that occurs during an extraction (this is normal and actually good). And as we take out the teeth + roots, the blood and blood clot often make the roots appear very dark.

I hope I was able to provide an answer to your question.

Regards, *****
Expert:  Julian Chen replied 8 years ago.
I also wanted to add one more possibility that could have made the roots of your wisdom teeth darker in color, but the scenario would be rather specific.

If at the time your wisdom teeth were developing in the jaw (usually between the ages of 12-16), and for whatever reason, you fell ill and needed to take tetracycline antibiotics for a prolonged period of time, staining could have occurred and deposited onto the root structure as they were forming. Tetracycline staining often results in dark grey discoloration of natural teeth.


Dr. Chen
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Neither of these is the case.

The teeth were cleaned off.

Even my dentist said she had never seen anything like it.
They were black.

I am 48 years old.
Expert:  Julian Chen replied 8 years ago.
If such is the case that your extracted wisdom teeth were completely cleaned off before you saw them, then I, too, share the same sentiment as your dentist. I've yet to see anything like it nor do I have any explanation beyond what I've given that could explain the phenomenon.

You're one in a million. :)

My apologies for not having an answer for you.


Dr. Chen