In Ghana it is said that once a Muslim makes al'hajj,he may get a gold tooth to signify his pilgrimmage. Louisiana, during slave trading days, imported many Africans from the Senegambia area, which even during those times was populated by Islamic African people.There are stories about how during slavery gold teeth helped to distinguish a "free" Black person from an enslaved one. Once a slave was freed, he/she may get a gold tooth to signify emancipation.
gold teeth go back thousands of year specifically in Africa and south America. gold teeth have always been for decoration or an alternative to removing teeth. blacks in America began using gold teeth in the 1900s for dental reasons as they had little access to adiquite dental and medical car. It also began to become a status sysmbol for poor people.
As time progressed they realized it could be a symbol of wealth or success by having a mouth of gold teeth. then coming out of the first panic after the civil war and for sometime thereafter whites would dig up black cemetaries as a means to get the gold teeth. When you are dead they are no use to you any longer. As the 50ties rolled around this practice began to deminish.