It’s not that often, but occasionally we hear from patients regarding dark spots on teeth. These spots can signal a serious problem while the symptoms may be benign. Dark spots on the teeth may be caused by a number of conditions, so it’s important to see your dentist soon after discovering the symptom. If the discoloration is caused by some damage to the tooth, timely treatment can save your tooth and your smile. Your dentist will need to examine the tooth and the spot to determine the cause, because a number of issues may be the root of the problem. Obviously, the cause will determine the appropriate treatment.
A dark spot may be the result of something as simple as staining from consuming too much coffee or tea. This type of stain may not be eliminated by simple brushing. Also, the tobacco use may have a similar effect. In such cases, dentists may recommend a tooth whitening treatment to eliminate the spot or heavy scaling may be the solution.
Excessive exposure to fluoride during early childhood usually cause light spots, but sometimes there is the opposite effect causing dark spots to develop. This condition, known as fluorosis, is often associated with brownish streaks or stains on the teeth. These stains may not respond to conventional whitening treatments, so patients may need to explore veneers or other restorations to improve the appearance of teeth affected by fluorosis.
Cavities must also be considered, and this issue requires prompt treatment. In addition to visually inspecting the tooth, the dentist may take x-rays to diagnose tooth decay and to determine the extent to which it has progressed. A small cavity can be restored with a tooth-colored filling, leaving no evidence that decay was ever present, while a large amount of decay may require a crown or on-lay.
In addition, a traumatic injury to the tooth can cause discoloration. If you notice a dark spot that develops after you have suffered some sort of injury to your mouth, bring it to your dentist’s attention as soon as possible. Getting an intervention quickly increases your chances of saving the tooth.
If we can be of service, please call us for a complimentary consultation.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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