Discolored tooth

Teeth can be dark due to staining from the outside (extrinsic) or inside (intrinsic). Common causes of extrinsic stains are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dietary factors
  • Genetic factors
  • Cracks on the surface of the enamel

A through cleaning is performed initially, then an evaluation of the stains remaining are made. Whitening the teeth usually removes most extrinsic stains, although stains in cracks may need a white bonding or veneer placed to remove them.

Common causes of intrinsic stains are caused by the following:

  • You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
  • Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
  • You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
  • You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
  • You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
  • You were born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations.

Mild intrinsic stains can be removed with whitening your teeth, but it is unpredictable. Darker stains can be resolved with bonding, veneers, or crowns. Bonding is less expensive, but can stain over time. Veneers and crowns are much more predictable, longer lasting, and usually more aesthetically pleasing. The disadvantage is the cost is higher

Please ask our dentist what your options are, and the associated cost.

discolored tooth

We are dedicated to giving each of our patients the beautiful, healthy smile they deserve!