Discoloration Of Children’s Teeth
Many parents are naturally concerned that their child’s teeth have become yellow or discolored. It is normal for permanent teeth to be slightly darker than the pearly white baby teeth that came before them. Though, it may also indicate a more serious underlying problem.
Intrinsic stains or staining from inside of the teeth cannot be removed. If you notice a grayish or darkening of a single front tooth that was not previously there this may be due to trauma.
Similar to a bruise, excessive force to the anterior teeth can cause separation of blood vessels inside the tooth, which may cause blood to enter the internal structure of the tooth. This discoloration may lighten or darken over time and should be evaluated by your child’s dentist.
Some apple juices, grape juice, and foods and candies with dye may cause extrinsic, or surface, staining. Iron supplements may also leave a dark stain of the teeth which is hard to remove from just brushing alone.
If your child is on a nighttime medication make sure that your child brushes soon after their chewable or liquid medication. This type of staining can typically be removed by at home brushing or a professional cleaning by your dentist. Diluting your child’s juice with water can decrease the staining tendency.
Tooth decay can come in many shades from white to almost black and are typically differentiated from staining from the softness present in the enamel.
Although yellowing of the teeth can be a concern for parents, chalkiness or excessive white spots on the teeth are a major concern as well, as they can be precursors to cavities.
Enamel Hypoplasia is a tooth defect that results in a tooth having an irregular quality of enamel. In permanent teeth it typically displays with white to brown spots on the first molars and anterior upper incisors.
Causes for this condition are often unknown but may include, malnutrition, genetics, a history of illness during childhood, infection, fever or the use of medications such as antibiotics during tooth formation.
These teeth can sometimes be treated with a procedure called micro abrasion, removing the surface layer of the tooth.
For defects that extend deep into the enamel sometimes composite bonding is required or even full coverage crowns, which help protect the weaker tooth.
If you notice any suspicious areas in your child’s teeth please make an appointment with a dental professional today.