When a dentist sees spots on your teeth, the color of them is a clue as to what the cause is. If you see spots, they may be white or brown. If so, below are what each of these colors mean, as well as the treatment options you have.
If you have white spots on your teeth, it can be due to fluorosis and you have likely had them since you were a child. It occurs when a younger child consumes too much fluoride before their adult teeth have erupted. This fluoride could come from places like drinking water or excessively brushing teeth as a child. Only children that are eight years and younger can develop this problem, and the white spots appear on the enamel of the teeth. If you are only seeing small white spots, this is a cosmetic problem and is not harming your teeth.
You can see a cosmetic surgeon to take care of this problem for you. They may use a procedure called microabrasion, which is sanding off the white spot. The cosmetic surgeon will only perform this procedure, however, if you have thick, strong enamel.
If the enamel on your teeth is thin, or you have larger white spots, the dentist may suggest veneers. If so, they will sand down the enamel and then place a porcelain cap over each tooth. The color of the veneers will match the color of the rest of your teeth so they are not noticeable.
Your cosmetic surgeon can go over any other treatment options with you.
If you are seeing brown spots on your teeth, this can be a sign that you have tooth decay, which is also known as caries. It could also be simply superficial stains, such as from drinking too much wine, tea, coffee, or if you chewed or smoked tobacco. If your brown spots appear to be deep within your teeth, this is known as intrinsic stains.
If you see a dark brown spot on only one tooth, this is a sign that the tooth is dead, also known as necrotic. This could be caused by having an infection in the tooth or some kind of trauma. If you see only one spot, see your dentist, as it may require a root canal to save the tooth.
Poor oral hygiene can also cause brown spots to appear on your teeth. This is because if you do not take proper care of your teeth plaque builds up on the enamel surface, which can make you more prone to cavities.
See a dentist, like Tony Parsley, DMD, regularly for dental cleanings to help prevent some of these problems from happening.