There are multiple causes of discolouration in teeth. These can be subdivided into extrinsic (caused by an external agent) or intrinsic (caused by internal discolouration within the tooth).
Extrinsic discolouration can often be easily removed from teeth. It is caused by smoking, tea, coffee, red wine, certain mouthrinses etc. This kind of discolouration can easily be removed after a visit with our dental hygienists. At our west London practice they not only have ultrasonics to remove stain and up to date polishing systems but also the advanced prophyflex air abrasion system which gently and effortlessly removes any external stains.
Intrinsic staining can be caused either before or after the tooth comes through in the mouth. Tetracycline is a commonly used antibiotic and in the 1970’s and 80’s was commonly given to children to treat various bacterial infections.
Unfortunately it causes grey banding on the teeth.There are other drug induced types of discolouration including dental fluorosis where too much fluoride can lead to white or brown spots on the teeth. There are some types of discolouration where the causes are genetic and leads to abnormalities in the calcified tissues of the tooth which in turn leads to discolouration. Examples of these are Amelogenesis and Dentinogenesis imperfecta.
Some kinds of discolouration are caused as a result of a disturbance to the cells that produce the enamel at a critical period during its formation. Difficulty during labour, high fevers in childhood or continued ill health can lead to discolouration.
If a tooth has suffered physical trauma the blood supply within the tooth can be compromised leading to blood products leaking out into the calcified tissues and a grey discolouration. Sometimes the nerve within the tooth can respond by laying down more tooth structure as a protective mechanism leading to a yellow discoloration.
Other causes of discolouration can be because enamel has been lost around the teeth as a result of erosion (dietary acid) or abrasion (over brushing). Decay or leaking fillings can cause discolouration.
Due to the fact that there are so many causes of discoloration, it makes sense that there are various different treatment options to solve the specific discolouration.
The types of treatment that are commonly carried out at Ethicare Dental are: Tooth Whitening, hygienist treatment, prophyflex air abrasion, cosmetic bonding of white filling material,composite and porcelain veneers (Eg lumineers), ceramic (Empress,Procera, Emax) and high quality bonded crowns.