Every day, the things you eat and drink can all cause tooth discolouration. It’s not just food and drinks that cause teeth to go brown, either. In some cases, dark spots can occur from underlying issues such as tooth decay, dead roots or a build-up of tartar. In other cases, certain medications, bad habits such as smoking and even aging can also lead to brown spots. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most common causes of tooth discolouration to find out what causes teeth to take on a brownish tint.
What Causes Tooth Discolouration?
There are a number of things that can lead to tooth discolouration. Some of the biggest causes of brown teeth include the following:
Smoking is one of the leading causes of brown stains on the teeth. Nicotine is a highly toxic substance that leaves stains on fingers, clothing and teeth. It is found in cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, and chewing tobacco. If you are a smoker and you want to reduce the discolouration of your teeth or at least prevent it from worsening, now is the time to cut out nicotine.
2/ Foods and beverages
There are many foods and beverages that can cause brown, yellow and grey spots or marks on your teeth. Some of the biggest causes of discolouration on the teeth can include coffee, tea, red wine, sodas such as cola, as well as blueberries, blackberries, pomegranates, and other fruits that have high acidity. The best way to prevent staining is to always brush and use mouthwash after consuming food and drink that have a high staining risk.
3/ Tooth decay
Underlying problems such as tooth decay can also cause teeth to take on a brown colour. This happens when the hard tooth enamel that protects the outer layer of the tooth begins to erode. Plaque is constantly forming, with bacteria creating acid whenever you eat. If you do not follow a regular tooth brushing routine, that acid begins to break down the enamel of your teeth. The result is brown stains as well as cavities.
Another risk of excess plaque is a build-up of tartar. This appears along the gum line and can range in colour from yellow all the way to light and darker brown. Once again, regular brushing and flossing will prevent tartar. You can also schedule dental cleaning to remove tartar and restore your teeth to their natural white colour.
5/ Dead roots
Dead roots can also cause the tooth to go brown. This happens when the pulp within the tooth dies. The dead root darkens, causing the tooth to lose its white colour and go brown from within. When this happens, you will usually need root canal treatment.
There are also some types of medication that can cause brown marks on the tooth. The most common type of medication that can affect tooth colour includes antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline. It is more of a risk for children who have developing teeth than adults. It can also cause tooth stains in young children if moms used these meds during their pregnancy.
Finally, teeth can also go brown as a part of the aging process. Dark spots may appear over time from a lifetime of surface staining food and drink, many years of smoking, worn enamel or darkened dentin – the substance that surrounds the tooth beneath the enamel.
Book a dental cleaning appointment to have your teeth restored to their natural colour or consider veneers or tooth whitening if you are concerned about discoloured teeth. To find out more about how to deal with tooth discolouration, contact Gateway Dental – your trusted dentist in Durban.