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The Meaning of Your Dental Discoloration

We aim to keep our smiles looking pearly white and bright, but over time, a number of factors may cause our tooth color to diminish. If you do not feel happy with your smile’s appearance, you may feel a blow to your confidence. But dental discoloration can also be a symptom of larger oral health concerns.

You can visit your dentist to find targeted ways to whiten your smile. But not all dental stains will react the same way to cosmetic treatment. Read on to learn about four types of discoloration you may notice on your teeth and what they mean for your oral health.

The Meaning of Your Dental Discoloration

Dark Dental Stains

Dark brown or black spots on your teeth can create a significant disruption to your smile’s appearance. In many cases, these types of dental stains come from the substances you consume. Dark-colored foods and beverages get their dark color from natural tannins.

As you eat and drink, tannins transfer to your teeth and absorb into the enamel, leaving the dark stains behind on your mouth. If they seep deep enough, you cannot remove the stains with your usual teeth-brushing regimen.

Dark dental discoloration might also occur if you have a cavity. This early stage of tooth decay develops when natural oral bacteria find a weak spot in the dental structure and start to eat away at the enamel. You will need treatment from a dentist to remove the decay and restore the tooth’s strength. So do not ignore this change in your tooth’s appearance.

Yellowing in Your Teeth

If your teeth begin to look yellowish in hue, substances in your diet can be the culprit. However, this can also happen due to dental erosion. Over time, your enamel may suffer damage and start to wear down. This can happen due to an acidic diet, poor oral hygiene, or health issues.

When the enamel thins or weakens, underlying dentin becomes exposed, which is yellower in color. Once lost, enamel does not regrow. You will need to seek restorative treatment from your dentist to replace enamel and enhance your tooth color.

Dull Tooth Color

A dull or grey tooth color might happen due to nonvital tooth pulp, also called a dead tooth. Impact trauma due to an acute injury to the mouth or gradual damage like bruxism can damage blood vessels within the pulp of the tooth. Without adequate blood flow, the tooth will become nonvital.

This is not necessarily a dental emergency. But your dentist will want to monitor the tooth because it can put the tooth in greater danger of infections. So you should discuss the symptoms with your dentist.

White Spots on the Teeth

Though you may want your smile to look white and bright, stark, creamy white spots on the surface of the tooth can look strange on your smile. This discoloration is a sign of hypocalcification, a condition in which the tooth enamel lacks calcium, a mineral that is the main component of this outer layer of the tooth.

You can talk to your dentist about remineralization which can fortify the enamel and get rid of these weak spots in your teeth. But you can also find a cosmetic dental solution to improve the color of your teeth.