There are many reasons why dark spots may appear on teeth. Thankfully, there are many tools that can help to eliminate spots or stain. Your family dentist can provide a diagnosis and recommend treatment to facilitate removing or covering teeth that mar your smile.
Depending on the age of the patient, the causes can differ greatly. Toddlers that have dark spots on newly erupted baby teeth might be suffering from something consumed by their mother while the child was still in the womb. Medications that contain tetracycline might produce this effect.
In areas where city water containing fluoride is not readily available, infants and toddlers may be given a fluoride additive in their vitamins. This can result in over consumption of fluoride that can produce teeth stain. This condition is known as fluorosis and can impact permanent teeth.
Poor daily hygiene care and lack of professional dental cleanings can lead to calculus build-up. Over time, dental decay can occur producing a breach in the dental enamel that discolors the tooth. For many years, dental decay was corrected using amalgam. However, with current dental technology, these cavities can be treated with a tooth colored filling material making the repair virtually invisible.
Lifestyle habits and diet can impact the appearance of teeth. Teeth can be stained by caffeinated drinks like coffee and cola; red wine; tea; and many foods like tomato based sauces, berries, citrus fruits, and foods containing brightly colored food dyes.
Tobacco use is obviously dangerous to overall health, but can stain teeth as well.
Your dentist can offer a range of treatments to reduce or eliminate the dark spots. Teeth whitening following a thorough hygienic cleaning might lighten or eliminate dark spots.
If spots are minimal, your dentist might recommend dental bonding. This process involves the removal of a small amount of enamel followed by the application of a tooth colored composite that is blended to cover the stain while maintaining the color and shape of the tooth.
For extensive stain correction, your dentist might suggest veneers, a minimally invasive form of cosmetic enhancement.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment, contact the office of Dr. Mark E. Massaro at 918-779-3399.
Mark E. Massaro, DDS
3150 East 41st Street
Wellington Square Suite 141
Tulsa, OK 74105
Dr. Mark Massaro is a Tulsa, OK dental professional dedicated to General, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry such as Dental Exams, Cleanings, X-rays, Smile Makeovers, Zoom Teeth Whitening, Lumineers, Crowns, & more.