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Alternative Names Return to topDiscolored teeth; Tooth discoloration; Tooth pigmentation
Definition Return to top
Abnormal tooth color is any color other than the white to yellowish-white of normal teeth.
Considerations Return to top
Many different things can cause tooth discoloration. The change in color may affect the entire tooth, or just appear as spots or lines in the tooth enamel.
Your genes influence your tooth color. Other things that can affect tooth color include:
Inherited diseases may affect the thickness of enamel or the calcium or protein content of the enamel, which can cause color changes. Metabolic diseases may cause changes in tooth color and shape.
Drugs and medications either taken by the mother while pregnant or by the child during the time of tooth development can cause changes in both the color and hardness of the enamel.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Good oral hygiene will help if the teeth are stained from a food or fluid, or if the abnormal color is the result of poor hygiene.
It is appropriate to consult your dentist for abnormally colored teeth. However, if the color seems to be related to a medical condition, your regular health care provider should also be consulted.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The dentist will examine the teeth and ask questions about the symptoms. Questions may include:
Testing may not be necessary in many cases. However, if the health care provider suspects the coloration may be related to a medical condition, testing may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Dental x-rays may be taken.Update Date: 5/28/2008 Updated by: Jason S. Baker, DMD, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Private Practice, Yonkers, New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.