Dental Tips Blog


Why is My Tooth Turning Colors?

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever experienced one, or all of your teeth turning colors? There could be a very good reason behind why it is happening. Here are a few examples of what to look out for and the cause behind it:

Grey or Blue Patches of Enamel

This is probably one of the most common types of tooth stain. It starts around old silver fillings, and is called an “amalgam tattoo.” In fact, the grey or blue stain can even extend into the gum tissue itself. The discoloration is due to leakage in the old metal filling, and the metal materials seeping into the enamel. 

Brown or Blue Shade Throughout the Entire Tooth

When the nerve of a tooth dies, so does the tooth. This process can take years, even decades to show signs of symptoms. In most cases the tooth will start to look slightly darker than the neighboring teeth. Over time, the tooth looks as if it is an unnaturally dark brown or even blue shade. 

Brown Lines

If you have cracks in your teeth or leaky margins around an old white filling, you may start to see brown lines. This is simply due to stain particles seeping into the microscopic openings of your enamel. Most of the time this is strictly an aesthetic concern, but it can be an indication that a functional problem is developing. 

These are just a few examples of some of the types of discoloration that we see in the dental office. It certainly is not a comprehensive list! If you’re beginning to notice discoloration of your teeth or on certain areas of the teeth – then it’s time to give your dentist a call!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


Discolorations on Your Teeth

Posted in Veneers

Spotted, discolored or stained enamel can make you self-conscious about your smile and how you feel being around other people. While most teeth have a naturally even tone, it isn’t too uncommon for people to have one or several teeth with uneven coloration. Superficial stain from foods can cause external stains that are easily cleaned off by your dentist, but internal discolorations reside deep within the anatomy of the tooth.

What causes internal discolorations of the teeth?

•           Previous trauma
•           Illness
•           Poor oral hygiene
•           Previous dental decay
•           Developmental anomalies
•           Elevated mineral levels in water supply
•           Medication used by yourself or your mother during pregnancy

The teeth that you see in your mouth begin forming in the early stages of fetal development and into early childhood. Trauma or decay to baby teeth can cause damage or permanent scarring to the developing permanent tooth underneath. Some prescription medications also cause permanent discoloration, such as tetracycline. Tetracycline is typically avoided in young children or pregnant women for this reason. Plaque that has set too long on the teeth (typically along the gumlines in an erupting tooth, or around orthodontic brackets) will begin to demineralize the enamel and leave a white scar on the tooth if it fails to develop into decay. Developmental staining can also occur due to severe illness or naturally elevated fluoride supplies.

Depending on the severity, size and type of tooth discoloration, a variety of cosmetic dental therapies can improve the appearance of your teeth. From in-office laser whitening to porcelain veneers, your dentist can customize a personal plan that will address your aesthetic concerns and give you the beautiful, evenly white smile that you can feel confident in.

Posted on behalf of Rowe Family Dental Care



Natural Tooth Discoloration

The color and appearance of our teeth are important to us, because our smile is one of the first things that other people will notice. While most tooth discoloration is commonly due to external factors such as tea, coffee, tobacco or wine, our teeth may possibly have internal tooth discoloration and stain as well. Some of the most common types of internal, natural tooth stain are due to:

Prescription Medications

Certain medications, if taken during childhood or taken by your mother during her pregnancy, can affect the way your teeth develop as well as their color. Tetracycline is probably the most well known prescription medicine that alters the appearance of developing permanent teeth. Teeth often erupt years later with a bluish or grey hue deep within the tooth enamel.

Natural Minerals

Fluoride is good for your teeth, but too much fluoride is not. Different parts of the country are known to have heavy levels of natural fluoride in the water supply. Drinking well water that is not monitored by community health organizations may cause too much fluoride to be consumed during tooth development. While these teeth erupt very strong, they also have a hyper calcified appearance that is a splotchy brown or white. Although not visually pleasing, these teeth are very strong.

Developmental Anomalies or Trauma

Oral injuries during tooth development may traumatize the developing enamel buds. So can a very severe fever or illness during childhood. These scars are usually seen after the tooth fully erupts, and are typically brown or pitted areas in the normal tooth enamel.

Natural discolorations of the teeth are typically not corrected with simple whitening routines. Your dentist can work alongside you to tailor a cosmetic dentistry plan that covers these areas to give you a natural, healthy looking smile.

Posted on behalf of Prime Dental Care



Four Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Posted in Teeth Whitening

The growing popularity of teeth whitening products and innovations suggests that tooth discoloration is a major dental concern. Over time, teeth naturally lose some of their pearly white luster as the enamel thins and changes in the dentin layer of the teeth occur. However, tooth discoloration is not always just a matter of natural tooth aging. Several factors can give rise to yellow, brown, spotty or otherwise stained teeth. Here are some of the most common culprits.


Researchers have discovered that genetic factors present at birth determine the natural baseline color of a person’s teeth. Just as skin color is an inherited trait, a person’s baseline tooth color is typically similar to that of their parents. Genetic disorders like dentinogenesis imperfecta and amelogenesis can affect the color of teeth. Genetics also determines the porosity of a person’s teeth and highly porous teeth are more likely to stain.

Poor oral hygiene

Not surprisingly, tooth discoloration can be caused by poor oral habits. Failure to brush teeth regularly and properly invites plaque build-up on the surface of the teeth. When plaque is colonized by anaerobic and chromogenic bacteria, a chemical reaction occurs on the surface of teeth resulting in unsightly white, green, dark brown, orange, or black deposits which appear as spots or stains.


Certain medications can affect the color of a person’s teeth. The antibiotic drug tetracycline has been implicated in tooth discoloration in young children whose teeth are still developing. Compounds in the drug become integrated into the enamel and dentin layer of the teeth resulting in yellow-brown or blue-gray teeth. The antibiotic drugs minocycline and doxycycline have also been linked to tooth discoloration in adults, as well as certain antihistamines, and antihypertensive and antipsychotic drugs.

Dental fluorosis

Dental fluorosis occurs when teeth are exposed to too much fluoride either systemically through water sources or fluoride-containing foods, or through the overuse of fluoride products (mouth rinses, toothpastes etc.) Fluorosis is characterized by the appearance of chalky-white or brown spots or stripes on the surface of teeth.

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