A beautiful smile with shining white teeth – that’s what we want to see when smiling at yourself in the mirror. But we are not happy with one or more dark stains on teeth as they ruin our dreams of having a sparkling smile.
Causes and symptoms
Some people have a thin and deficient in amount enamel, that’s called hypoplasia. Usually this condition involves hard tissue of teeth becoming vulnerable to decay. It can also absorb the pigments left over by food. If hypoplasia is spread throughout the tooth uniformly then the tooth is uniformly colored.
But if it takes only some areas, then only these areas will be pigmented. Most frequently dark stains appear on front teeth, as they more often contact food, beverages and tobacco smoke. Moreover, they don’t really show any signs of pain or discomfort and may exist for years.
And this is the only case that is considered to be borderline safe. The rest cases are classified as dental deseases:
Caries. In the stage of dark discoloration on the teeth (usually dark brown) one can not see obvious destruction of enamel. But if you use cold-spoon approach or other ways of “cooling off” the tooth, or gently tap on the stained areas, you will experience pain or discomfort.
Fluorosis. It may appear as numerous stains across the teeth, which result from chalky enamel defects. But these discolored areas are more likely to be stained, therefore, in a short time they may become brown with the surface being rough and jagged. Fluorosis doesn’t cause pain or discomfort, until the formation of caries, that sooner or later is bound to happen. In particular poor oral hygiene affects, as dental fluorosis is extremely susceptible to infections.
Pulp necrosis. The death of pulp tissue is considered to be irreversible. The diagnosis usually starts with a blue-grey, dark gray stain, which “spreads” over time across the surface of the tooth. In about half of the cases, necrosis may be entirely asymptomatic. However in the later stages the tooth may react with dull pain, that gets worse to hot drinks or food.
Another common reason for the tooth discoloration is a calculus formation. While it is not a distinct disease, hardened plaque sooner or later causes such dental conditions like gingivitis, periodontitis or alveolar pyorrhea. Calculus rarely forms on only one tooth. It mainly occurs in fissures, interdental spaces, below and above the gum line. But if the position of tooth is abnormal and it is in a hard-to-reach area, then calculus will form only on it.
Almost every reason that causes tooth discoloration has a high risk of complications. They include:
All these complications have its own consequences. It depends on how soon you will consult a dentist. So everything may end up with the tooth removal or, in the best of cases, with ongoing treatment that will cost you a lot of money.
The method of treatment is individual for each case. Once your teeth are examined and the pathologies are identified, your dentist may come to the following treatments:
Cosmetic dentistry treatment. It includes the use of dental polymers to mimic the properties of a natural tooth. This method is preferable for discolored front teeth that have resulted not from the desease. If the stains are numerous, it is recommended to use zirconia or porcelain layers (venners or lumineers), that serve as a tooth “protector”. They truly mimic natural teeth and can be used to correct all of your teeth for a complete smile.
Therapeutic dentistry This section of dentistry deals with the removal of damaged and/or infected tooth tissues, and then its functionality and anatomy is restored with filling materials.
Dental surgery. While tooth extraction sounds like an extreme measure, it’s necessary to go to it to prevent the development of complications. This method is preferable, when saving the tooth is inappropriate, as the tooth decay has reached its roots and threatens the health of a periodontium, periosteum, bone.
Tooth whitening is used only when damages are caused by external factors (smoking, stain-causing foods and etc.), and the depth of pigmentation doesn’t reach the dentin.
To prevent teeth from discoloration as well as from other cosmetic and dental defects, you should take simple and at the same time effective measures:
Oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth on a regular base, using a brush and toothpaste.
Eliminate bad habits. In terms of health, bad habits include not only common examples like smoking or alcohol consumption, but also cracking nuts and hard candies, opening any kind of containers with your teeth, getting food out of your teeth with objects that do not serve for these purposes, including paper clips, pins and etc.
Regular dental visits. It is essential to visit the dentist at least every six months. But when suffering from frequent ARVI and ENT diseases, you should not avoid specialised medical consultations and treatments. From such areas like an airway, middle ear, nasopharynx and oropharynx pathogenic bacteria can be transferred to the oral cavity. So dental health is as important as proper care for your teeth and gums.