Do you have discoloration on your tooth? Are you wondering whether a dark spot on your tooth is purely cosmetic in nature, or is it the sign of an oral health condition like tooth decay? Most of the time, tooth discoloration is caused by external factors like darkly colored foods and drinks that stain teeth. Even though a dark spot on your teeth is likely just a cosmetic issue, it’s still a good idea to visit our dentists for a checkup just to make sure your oral health is in good standing.
How do permanent stains develop?
If the dark spot on your tooth is the result of permanent staining, it likely developed from a common daily habit such as drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes. Teeth are permeable and over time, dark compounds can seep through the enamel layer of teeth and form a permanent stain. This type of staining is called extrinsic tooth discoloration and it is normally addressed with cosmetic treatments, if the patient feels it is necessary. Most permanent stains are treated with professional whitening treatments prescribed by our dentist. Professional whitening can lift away deep stains and lighten teeth about eight to ten shades.
How does decay cause tooth discoloration?
Yellowing or darkening of the tooth can mean that a tooth is damaged from tooth decay. The only way to be sure if discoloration is more than cosmetic is to schedule an oral checkup at our practice. If decay is present, bacteria have eaten through the soft, dentin structure of teeth. As a result of a cavity, the exposed dentin of a tooth can darken. A dark spot on a tooth may also mean that the inside of the tooth is damaged. For instance, dark spots may be an indicator that a tooth is deeply decayed or infected.
If decay is the reason for discoloration, our team will recommend an appropriate restoration. Fillings are used to restore damage done by small cavities while crowns are used to restore an entire tooth. Restorations will protect teeth from further damage as well.
To schedule a checkup or cleaning, call our friendly team at The Dental Place today- dentist grand prairie.