Why do I have a dark spot on my tooth?
A dark spot on a tooth can detract from your smile’s appearance, and it can also be an indicator of a significant dental health concern. If you notice such a flaw on a tooth, consult with a professional, such as a dentist or an oral surgeon, to determine what has caused the spot and what treatment is likely to be most appropriate.
Cavities can initially present as dark spots, and if this is the cause, it’s important to seek dental treatment quickly before the decay spreads and causes serious structural damage to the tooth. Plus, if you get a cavity filled early on, the restoration will be smaller and more of your biological tooth material can be preserved.
Trauma to the tooth may also leave behind a discolored area, which is why you should always consult with a dentist if you’ve suffered an injury that could have damaged a tooth.
Excessive fluoride exposure, especially during childhood, also can leave dark stains on the teeth, as can some medications, such as tetracycline.
A stain on a tooth doesn’t always indicate a serious dental issue. Certain foods and drinks, like coffee and colas, can discolor the teeth, as can smoking. In these cases, cutting back on the offending food or beverage, or giving up smoking, can help to address the problem. Teeth whitening treatments also can restore the tooth’s appearance when these factors are causing the stains.
Fortunately, patients can take measures to prevent such dark spots from marring their teeth. Good oral hygiene is key to reducing your risk of cavities, so brush and floss daily and follow up with your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings, as well as exams.
Stains that have already developed may require some sort of intervention, such as tooth whitening or veneers or another restoration. Your dentist can advise you on the best ways to improve the appearance of a tarnished tooth.
For more information about the causes of dark spots on the teeth and how to prevent them, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center and speak to our specialist.