Has a dark spot formed on your child’s tooth? Are you wondering if this symptom requires professional treatment? Changes in the color of your child’s teeth can appear for a few reasons. Sometimes teeth may become discolored after a patient has taken certain types of antibiotics. Dark spots may also be the result of permanent, extrinsic tooth stains that are caused by exposure to dark foods and drinks. If a child has severe tooth decay, the tooth may darken as well. Our kid’s dentist offers restorative and preventive pediatric dentistry treatments to help your child enjoy vibrant oral health.
Understanding Tooth Discoloration
There are two types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic tooth stains occur when teeth are exposed to agents like darkly-colored food or drinks or antibiotics. For example, antibiotics from the tetracycline family of medications can discolor teeth to where they appear yellow or dark brown. Another cause for extrinsic discoloration is poor oral hygiene. Tartar (hardened plaque) builds up along teeth and gums when patients do not properly clean their teeth with brushing and flossing. Tartar, like teeth, can then become dark in appearance.
Intrinsic stains develop when the inside of the tooth is not healthy. While intrinsic and extrinsic discoloration looks similar, their causes can vary. An intrinsic stain could be caused by a deep tooth fracture where the sensitive internal structures of teeth are exposed to debris and bacteria. These stains may also be the result of tooth decay.
Knowing When to See the Dentist
In addition to scheduling regular cleanings and checkups with our kid’s dentist, parents and caregivers should also call our office when noticeable changes occur. This allows our team the opportunity to determine whether tooth discoloration requires treatment. To protect our patients’ quality of life and oral health, we may prescribe fluoride treatments to strengthen teeth or place restorations to prevent decay from deepening.
To schedule an appointment with our team, call 817-569-6633 to talk with a member from our pediatric dentistry practice today.