What causes a Discolored Tooth?
A discolored tooth is a tooth that appears darker than the teeth beside it. Teeth naturally darken as you age, but the overall color of your teeth should be about the same.
A discolored tooth may be caused by:
- Gum recession exposing a dark root
- A dead or receded nerve in the tooth
- An existing root canal treatment
- An old silver filling which has leeched gray color into the tooth
- An old composite filling which is staining underneath the edges or has discolored over time
- Tooth wear leading to the exposure of the darker layer of tooth under the enamel
- Stain from food or beverages
Who is at high risk for a Discolored Tooth?
- Discolored teeth are more common in people who have:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Periodontal disease
- Existing root canal treatments and old fillings
- Bite problems
- A smoking habit
What can I do to minimize my risk of a Discolored Tooth in the future?
Consult your dentist regarding your particular situation. Some options that may be recommended are:
- Repair decayed teeth
- Treat teeth needing root canal treatments
- Address exposed tooth roots
- Replace old fillings
- Address bite problems
- Bleach the inside of root canal treated teeth or use dental whitening products (at home or in-office)
What will happen if I choose to do nothing about my Discolored Tooth?
Unless addressed, the appearance of a discolored tooth can worsen over time. In some cases, the discoloration indicates decay or a dead nerve and these can lead to a severe infection or the loss of your tooth.