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Discoloured Teeth

Discoloured Teeth - What it is

Discoloured Teeth, Teeth Stains

​Discoloured teeth may occur as a result of:

  • Extrinsic stains - stains which occur on the surface of the tooth. These stains can be removed by scaling and polishing.
  • Intrinsic stains - stains which occur within the tooth structure and cannot be removed by scaling and polishing. Some intrinsic stains can be removed by bleaching.

Discoloured Teeth - Symptoms

Apart from looking unsightly, there are no symptoms associated with extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains that were inherited or acquired at birth will present itself with its corresponding symptoms e.g. tooth decay and its symptoms include toothache, tooth sensitivity, visible holes or pits in your teeth etc.

Discoloured Teeth - How to prevent?

Discoloured teeth can be prevented by: 

  • Abstaining from smoking
  • Reducing the consumption of coffee and foods with coloured compounds
  • Practicing good oral hygiene
  • Visiting your family dentist regularly for scaling and polishing

Discoloured Teeth - Causes and Risk Factors

​Discoloured teeth can be caused by:

  • Chromogenic (stain forming) bacteria, which reacts with certain foods you eat or your saliva to create black stains on your teeth
  • Coloured compounds found in foods and drinks (eg. coffee, tea, red wine, colas, curries)
  • Disturbance during the tooth formation from
    • medication or chemicals e.g. tetracycline, excessive fluoride consumed during the tooth formative years
    • illnesses that affect tooth development e.g. high fevers, metabolic disorders
  • Genetic factors
  • Natural aging of teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Root canal treatment - teeth which no longer have a functioning pulp will change its colour after some time
  • Trauma to the teeth
  • Tobacco use
  • Tooth decay (caries)

Discoloured Teeth - Diagnosis

Discoloured Teeth - Treatments

​In some instances, bleaching or tooth whitening can improve the colour of your teeth. Teeth resistant to bleaching can be veneered or crowned. Your dentist will advise the most suitable option for you.

Discoloured Teeth - Preparing for surgery

Discoloured Teeth - Post-surgery care

Discoloured Teeth - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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