Tooth staining causes (Part II): White spots / Deteriorated dental restorations / Tooth trauma / Root canal treatment
E) White discolorations on teeth may be caused by poor home oral hygiene.
Some people may find that certain locations on their teeth have developed an opaque, whitish discoloration.
If this change has taken place on that part of the tooth that lies nearest the gum line, it's likely a white-spot lesion.
These tooth discolorations are the earliest visible sign of cavity formation. They develop in those regions where dental plaque has been allowed to remain on a tooth's surface for extended periods of time.
Important point : There can be other, less ominous, explanations for the appearance of white spots on teeth. One of them is fluorosis.
White discolorations that form during orthodontic treatment.
White-spot lesions can form during orthodontic treatment if the patient doesn't practice proper oral home care.
The problem becomes obvious once the braces are removed.
In the worst cases, the tooth damage that has occurred gives the appearance of a small bull's-eye in the center of each tooth in the location where its orthodontic bracket had been bonded.
This can be an especially disappointing outcome for a patient considering they have just spent months, or even years, wearing their braces to perfect their smile.
Learn more : How whitening treatments can be used to improve the appearance of teeth that have white discolorations.
F) Some types of teeth stains are due to deteriorated dental work.
A person's existing dental work can be the source of the tooth staining (or relative tooth discoloration) that they have noticed.
1) Existing white dental fillings may stain.
It is the nature of white dental fillings that they will discolor as they age. And while teeth whitening treatments can be used to lighten the color of tooth enamel, they cannot be expected to produce a color change in dental work (with a few exceptions). In the case of white fillings that have stained, the only solution your dentist is likely to offer is to replace them.
2) A person's natural teeth may darken over time and as a result no longer match previously placed dental work.
There can be cases where the color of a person's existing dental restorations has remained stable over time but the person's untreated teeth have become stained or discolored. The net result is a cosmetic mismatch.
This type of situation is especially commonplace in situations where dental crowns are involved. The glass-like nature of porcelain will not pick up stains over time like tooth enamel can.
This means that a dental crown that matched its neighboring teeth perfectly when it was first place will, as the person's untreated teeth undergo the natural and gradual staining process, appear too light.
G) The health status of a tooth's nerve can affect the tooth's coloration.
Those teeth whose nerve tissue has degenerated (or have had root canal treatment so to treat this problem) often undergo a generalized darkening.
One theory explaining this phenomenon suggests that the staining effect is caused by the release of iron pigments from decomposing hemoglobin-containing red blood cells within the tooth. These iron compounds penetrate into the dentin layer of the tooth, thereby creating a staining effect.
Tooth trauma can cause tooth nerve degeneration, either on a brief or extended (years) time frame. The darkening of any individual tooth, especially one that has a history of trauma such as having been bumped in an accident, can indicate that there is a problem with the health of the nerve inside. For this reason, any individually darkened tooth should always be evaluated by a dentist.