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
• 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
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