Why Is My Tooth Dark? 

Reese Dental at Lake Country understands that in today’s world cosmetic issues, especially with teeth can be top priority. Teeth aren’t always pearly and white. There are several reasons why teeth can become discolored. 

  • Dental fillings-fillings that contain amalgam or silver sulfide can cause teeth to appear darker 
  • Stains-teeth are prone to stains from things such as coffee, wine, soda, and even certain foods 
  • Cavities-cavities are a sign of tooth decay and when left untreated they can start to create a dark appearance on the tooth 
  • Tartar-this can build up on and under the gum line and when it builds up over time can take on a dark appearance 
  • Medications-certain medications can cause discoloration in the tooth enamel 
  • Tobacco use-smoking isn’t just bad for your health it can cause a myriad of issues with your oral health including darkening your teeth and gums 

So when does tooth discoloration become a concern? Tooth discoloration isn’t always a cause for concern. Some darkening from things such as coffee and wine drinking doesn’t mean your teeth are unhealthy its merely a cosmetic nuisance. Luckily teeth whitening is an easy treatment that can be done in office or at home and usually has great results after only a few treatments. When you start to notice brown spots on your teeth that gradually become darker or a grayish color around your gum line that is usually a indication of cavities or tartar build up.

To prevent build up the ADA recommends asking your dentist how often cleanings will be needed as not everyone’s will be the same. When you notice tartar around the gum line you may need a slightly deeper cleaning known as dental scaling. Scaling sounds more invasive than it is and involves a technician cleaning with a gentle pulsating tool to help descale the plaque from the gum line to allow the tooth to breathe and heal. If left untreated this build-up can cause gum and even bone loss. In some cases, Arestin may be used to help prevent and treat periodontitis that can occur from severe tartar buildup. When cavities have caused extreme darkening of a tooth a dental crown may be needed to help protect the tooth from further damage or discoloration.  

Is tooth discoloration preventable? There are things you can do to prevent the darkening of your teeth and gums such as 

  1. Limit the amount of soda and coffee you drink. If you do drink these things try to rinse your mouth out afterwards to remove the residual beverage from your mouth 
  2. Smoking and using tobacco dip or pouches only has one solution which is cessation. Discontinuing using tobacco products has nothing but benefits to your oral and overall health 
  3. Regular cleanings are essential for not only health reasons but can help prevent cosmetic defects in your teeth! 

Reese Dental at Lake Country provides dentistry for the entire family. We accept most insurances and we also accept care credit! Call or contact us today to schedule your family cleanings and make sure you keep your smile a healthy and happy one!