05 Mar Why do I have a dark spot on my tooth?
Many patients worry when they notice dark spots on their teeth. Not only can this issue have an unpleasant effect on your smile’s appearance, it may also indicate a problem with your oral health.
If you notice anything unusual about the appearance of your teeth, it’s important to have a dentist examine the teeth in order to diagnose the specific problem.
The following are potential causes of dark spots on the teeth, although this listing is not comprehensive:
- Tooth decay – A cavity may first become noticeable as a small dark spot on the tooth.
- Medications – Some medications (tetracycline, most notably) can leave stains on your teeth.
- Stains from foods, beverages or lifestyle habits – Dark foods and beverages, like coffee, tea or berries, can discolor your smile. Smoking is also a significant cause of stained teeth.
- Excessive fluoride – Fluoride benefits your teeth, but too much of it can be a bad thing, leaving behind dark spots on the teeth.
After your dentist has determined which factors are causing the discoloration of your teeth, he can then recommend steps you can take to avoid similar outcomes in the future. [pullquote]Good dental habits are usually an important component of any plan to prevent stains on the teeth.[/pullquote]
Good dental habits are usually an important component of any plan to prevent stains on the teeth. Be sure that you’re brushing and flossing enough and using the proper technique to remove as much plaque and tartar as possible. This will lower your risk of developing tooth decay. Adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash also can help.
Of course, routine dental exams are also important to good oral health, so be sure that you’re scheduling appointments at least every six months. This also gives you an opportunity to check in to be sure you’re not getting too much fluoride.
If your diet or lifestyle is contributing to the staining of your teeth, you may need to eliminate certain foods, beverages or habits. One of the many benefits you’ll gain when you quit smoking is a brighter smile, for example.
When stains are caused by medications, patients may need to get teeth whitening treatments in order to restore the tooth’s natural appearance. Get your dentist’s input about this.
Dark spots on the teeth can develop for any number of reasons, so be evaluated by an expert to determine what the cause is in your case. To learn more, contact our skilled dental team today.