A discolored tooth is a tooth that appears darker than the teeth beside it. Teeth naturally darken as you age, but the overall color of your teeth should be about the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What causes a Discolored Tooth?
A discolored tooth may be caused by:
- Gum recession exposing a dark root
- A dead or receded nerve in the tooth
- An existing root canal treatment
- An old silver filling which has leeched gray color into the tooth
- An old composite filling which is staining underneath the edges or has discolored over time
- Tooth wear leading to the exposure of the darker layer of tooth under the enamel
- Stain from food or beverages
2. Who is at high risk for a Discolored Tooth?
Discolored teeth are more common in people who have:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Periodontal disease
- Existing root canal treatments and old fillings
- Bite problems
- A smoking habit
3. What can I do to minimize my risk of a Discolored Tooth in the future?
Consult your dentist regarding your particular situation. Some options that may be recommended are:
- Repair decayed teeth
- Treat teeth needing root canal treatments
- Address exposed tooth roots
- Replace old fillings
- Address bite problems
- Bleach the inside of root canal treated teeth or use dental whitening products (at home or in-office)
4. What will happen if I choose to do nothing about my Discolored Tooth?
Unless addressed, the appearance of a discolored tooth can worsen over time. In some cases the discoloration indicates decay or a dead nerve and these can lead to a severe infection or the loss of your tooth.