Reasons Teeth Brown
5 Unexpected Reasons that Cause Teeth to Brown
Most people can name a few things that cause teeth to brown like wine, tobacco and coffee. These are what we refer to as consumables and, for the most part, are easily removed with a regular teeth cleaning.
What you may not realize is some discoloration is caused by genetics, age, medications, internal changes to the tooth and dental restorations that have failed or are deteriorating.
Discoloration Caused by Genetics
You may notice that some people have a natural blue-grey or yellow-brown tint to their smiles. The good news here is in many cases, home whitening systems can improve the color of teeth by several shades. In cases where the teeth are as white as they are going to get, any dental work completed will be matched precisely to your individual smile for a natural look.
With age, many of the consumable products will innately discolor or darken your teeth. In addition, your tooth’s enamel will begin to wear down and become thinner. When this happens, the tooth’s dentin underneath will show through and make the tooth appear darker. Home whitening systems can provide some improvement, but once the tooth’s enamel is gone, it’s gone. Be sure to be proactive about preventative maintenance such as regular teeth cleaning. See what causes tooth enamel to deteriorate.
Antibiotics that Cause Browning
Tetracycline and related medicines are known to cause tooth discoloration because they work their way into the enamel and dentin of the tooth. It can affect the entire tooth or appear in lines or broad bands across the tooth based on whether you were given the antibiotic in courses or long exposure. Teeth may be treated with tray whitening but this type of discoloration is not easily remedied. It requires a hefty time commitment from the individual as well as the dental professional overseeing the effort.
Discoloration Caused by Internal Changes to the Tooth
When the nerve space of the tooth is traumatized or requires a root canal, you will usually see a darkening near the gum line. This darkening may be caused by decomposing red blood cells inside the nerve space which can penetrate into the dentin layer. In other cases, trauma may cause new layers of dentin to deposit within the nerve space making the tooth seem less transparent and therefore darker. Tray whitening systems can treat individual teeth vs. stock trays. Paint-on techniques as well as placing bleaching agents directly inside the tooth can also be done in office.
Discoloration Caused by Failed or Deteriorating Dental Restorations
Often times when a darkening or halo effect appears around an existing filling bleaching will not be effective. The only solution is to replace the filling. Alternatively, crowns become a problem not because of the dental work, but because the teeth around the crown have changed. This mismatching can be repaired with home whitening systems.
If you happen to have yellowing or browning of a tooth or teeth and you want to improve the appearance of your smile, call Love Family Dentistry in Astoria for a consultation.