One of My Teeth is Changing Color. What To Do?
One of My Teeth Is Changing Color. What Does That Mean?
Your smile is your calling card – and you want it to make a dynamic lasting impression. Having a tooth that becomes discolored can make you stand out in ways you might not appreciate. What might cause the change in color of one of your teeth? Let’s explore…
Typically, there are four main causes of spontaneous singular tooth discoloration. They are:
- Medication/Biological Disruption
Any one of these factors can influence the coloration of your tooth, turning one or more of them from the uniform white of all your teeth to a stained-looking dingy color, yellowish, brown, or gray appearance.
Trauma resulting from any sort of blow to your face could be the cause of your tooth’s discoloration. This trauma may include a recent hit, fall, or accident, or maybe the latent result from a previous injury. Often, when a tooth sustains a traumatic blow, the blood vessels within the tooth wither and die. This may result in an eventual permanent grayish or brown appearance. This change in the tooth’s look cannot be altered by whitening but may be corrected with veneers or caps.
Several foods, drinks, and other substances we partake in can have adverse effects on our teeth. Coffee, tea, cola, red wine, soy sauce, curry, tomato-based sauces, blueberries, smoking or chewing tobacco – all can change the color and appearance of your smile. While drinking through a straw may help prevent the yellowing effect of some beverages, the best defense for keeping a bright and white mouth is frequent, regular brushing, flossing, and mouth washing – and avoiding the culprits that tend to darken the dazzle in your smile in the first place. The enamel that covers your teeth, while incredibly hard and resilient, is not a renewable resource; once it’s worn away, your teeth are left vulnerable to staining and decay. Practicing good hygiene habits will keep harmful tartar and bacteria at bay and help your enamel stay strong and durable. Abstaining from any tobacco use is recommended for your overall health, especially that of your mouth, tongue, and lungs.
Water-rich foods such as apples, celery, carrots, and strawberries increase your saliva production and help to neutralize the acids in your mouth, keeping your teeth naturally protected. Strawberries, in particular, contain malic acid – a naturally-occurring acid perfect for the prevention of tooth discoloration. Dairy products not only give you a healthy dose of calcium, but they naturally boost your body’s ability to neutralize staining acids found in your mouth.
Just because you can’t see a problem forming in your tooth doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Irregular hygiene habits, mouth-breathing during sleep or daily activity, or genetic predisposition can all have an influence on the health of our teeth. Often, we don’t realize we have an unhealthy tooth until we can see it for ourselves. As previously mentioned, eroded enamel can progress to the point that it wears down through to the softer tissues of your teeth and eventually causes the degradation of your tooth’s root. When this happens, the root dies, and an infection may result. This “death” commonly results in discoloration which may or may not is alleviated by a root canal. During a root canal, dead tissue within the tooth’s core is removed and the remaining tooth material is sealed to prevent further decay.
A sudden change to your body’s chemistry due to the introduction of a medication or physical change can sometimes cause a change in your tooth’s color. Medications your mother took while pregnant with you – believe it or not! – antibiotics or other medications that you ingest, certain environmental elements, or physical changes you experience may explain a sudden difference. If you notice a discoloration to your teeth that you haven’t seen before, contact your Odin House Dental professionals immediately and make an appointment for a consultation and evaluation.
One final consideration for you to examine is tooth whitening or bleaching. Whether you have been using a whitening kit provided by your dentist’s office or an over-the-counter bleaching kit, if you have previously had dental work performed, you may see inconsistencies in the results of your teeth’s appearance. Veneers and crowns will not react to the bleaches and whiteners as your natural teeth will, therefore you will see variations in the colors of your dentition. If you believe that a tooth or several teeth that appear to be discolored are a crown or have veneers, contact your dentist and ask whether you might receive a new crown or veneer to better match your natural tooth shade once the bleaching or whitening process has been completed.
About Odin House Dental
Creating an Excellent Patient Experience…
Over the last two decades, Odin House Dental Surgery has been proud to serve the suburb of Innaloo and has grown to include 10 dentists, three oral health therapists, and 10 support staff. We have eight surgery rooms, a sterilisation room, a laboratory (where we make your mouthguards, whitening trays, and models) as well as two waiting rooms which include a small play area for children. We also have a unique “special room” complete with a massage chair, large screen TV, and even X Box!
Our dentists are all members of the Australian Dental Association and are local to Perth, so it would be no surprise if you have seen us out and about in the community.