Nobody likes brown spots on their teeth, and if you’re amongst those affected, we hear you. While brown spots can be caused by a variety of factors like poor dental hygiene or too much fluoride, there are ways to get rid of them.
Brown spots on teeth can be unsightly and embarrassing, but fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available to help eliminate them. But before we delve into how to get rid of brown spots on teeth, let’s first understand what they are and why they occur.
What are brown spots on teeth and why do they occur?
Brown spots on teeth, also known as tooth discoloration, can range in color from yellow to brown or black and can occur on any tooth surface, including the front, back, or sides of the teeth. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to tooth discoloration, including:
Discoloration due to age:
As we age, the outer layer of our teeth, known as the enamel, can thin and become more transparent, allowing the yellowish dentin beneath it to show through. This can cause the teeth to appear yellow or brown.
Understanding the Different Types of Tooth Discoloration and Their Causes
Tooth discoloration, or the appearance of brown, yellow, or black spots on the teeth, can be caused by a variety of factors. Here is a breakdown of the different types of tooth discoloration and how they are caused:
- Extrinsic discoloration: This type of discoloration is caused by factors that are external to the tooth, such as staining from food and drinks or tobacco use. Common causes of extrinsic discoloration include consuming coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining beverages; smoking or using tobacco products; and eating foods that are high in pigments, such as berries and soy sauce. Extrinsic discoloration can typically be treated by professional teeth whitening or at-home remedies such as brushing with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
- Intrinsic discoloration: This type of discoloration is caused by factors that are internal to the tooth, such as trauma, medications, or aging. Common causes of intrinsic discoloration include injury or trauma to the tooth; the use of certain medications, such as tetracycline and doxycycline; and the natural process of aging, which can cause the enamel to thin and become more transparent, allowing the yellowish dentin beneath it to show through. Intrinsic discoloration may be more difficult to treat than extrinsic discoloration and may require more invasive treatments such as bonding, veneers, or crowns.
- Age-related discoloration: As we age, the outer layer of our teeth, known as the enamel, can thin and become more transparent, allowing the yellowish dentin beneath it to show through. This can cause the teeth to appear yellow or brown. Age-related discoloration is a natural part of the aging process and cannot be completely prevented. Professional teeth whitening or at-home remedies such as brushing with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide may help to minimize age-related discoloration.
- Tetracycline discoloration: Tetracycline is a type of antibiotic that can cause tooth discoloration in children whose teeth are still developing. If a child is exposed to tetracycline during the second half of pregnancy or during the first two years of life, the teeth may become discolored as they develop. Tetracycline discoloration can range in color from yellow to brown or gray and may be more difficult to treat than other types of discoloration. Bonding, veneers, or crowns may be used to cover up tetracycline discoloration.
Staining from food and drinks:
Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, can stain the teeth, leading to brown spots. The same is true for tobacco use, which can also cause yellowing or browning of the teeth.
Trauma or injury to the tooth:
If a tooth is injured or knocked out, it can lead to discoloration as the tooth may not receive enough blood flow or nutrients to maintain its natural color.
Poor oral hygiene:
Lack of proper oral hygiene, such as not brushing or flossing regularly, can lead to the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can cause yellowing or browning.
Some medications, such as tetracycline and doxycycline, can cause tooth discoloration in children whose teeth are still developing.
Understanding the Link Between Medications and Tooth Discoloration and What You Can Do About It
Certain medications can cause tooth discoloration as a side effect. Tetracycline and doxycycline, for example, are commonly prescribed antibiotics that can cause a yellow or grayish discoloration in developing teeth. Children whose teeth are still developing who are exposed to these antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy or during the first two years of life are at risk of developing tetracycline discoloration.
Other medications that may cause tooth discoloration include chlorhexidine, a mouthwash used to treat gum disease; antihistamines; and antipsychotic medications.
If you are taking a medication that may cause tooth discoloration, it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider and your dentist. In some cases, switching to a different medication may be an option. In other cases, treatment options such as bonding, veneers, or crowns may be recommended to cover up the discoloration.
It’s important to remember that the benefits of taking medication may outweigh the potential risks of tooth discoloration, and it’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for taking your medication as directed.
At-Home Remedies for Brown Spots on Teeth:
|Remedy||Effectiveness||Possible Risks or Side Effects|
|Baking soda||May remove surface stains from teeth||Can be abrasive and may cause tooth sensitivity or irritation if used too frequently|
|Hydrogen peroxide||May remove surface stains from teeth||Can cause sensitivity or irritation if used in high concentrations|
|Oil pulling||May reduce tooth discoloration||Limited scientific evidence to support the effectiveness|
|Crunchy fruits and vegetables||May help to remove surface stains from teeth||None|
If you’re looking for a more natural or cost-effective solution for eliminating brown spots on teeth, there are a few at-home remedies you can try. Keep in mind that these remedies may not be as effective as professional treatments and results may vary.
Brush with baking soda: Baking soda is a natural abrasive that can help to remove surface stains from the teeth. To use this method, mix a small amount of baking soda with a bit of water to form a paste. Use this paste to brush your teeth for two minutes, then rinse with water.
Use hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that can help to whiten the teeth. To use this method, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water and use it as a mouthwash, swishing it around in your mouth for one minute before spitting it out.
Try oil pulling: Oil pulling is an ancient practice that involves swishing oil around in the mouth for several minutes to remove bacteria and toxins. Some people believe that oil pulling can help to whiten the teeth. To try this method, put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 15-20 minutes before spitting it out and rinsing with water.
Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables: Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery, and carrots, can help to naturally scrub the teeth and remove surface stains.
Exploring Alternative Treatment Options for Brown Spots on Teeth
While professional treatments such as teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, and crowns are often effective in eliminating or minimizing brown spots on teeth, some individuals may be interested in exploring alternative treatment options.
Natural remedies and homeopathic treatments for brown spots on teeth may be of interest to those who are looking for a more holistic approach to oral health. Here are a few examples of natural remedies and homeopathic treatments that may be effective in treating brown spots on teeth:
- Coconut oil pulling: Oil pulling, which involves swishing a small amount of oil in the mouth for several minutes and then spitting it out, is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that is believed to have a variety of health benefits, including the ability to whiten the teeth. Coconut oil, which has antimicrobial properties, is often used for oil pulling and may be effective in reducing tooth discoloration.
- Turmeric paste: Turmeric, a spice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine, has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying a paste made from turmeric and water to the teeth and allowing it to sit for several minutes before rinsing it off may help to whiten the teeth and reduce tooth discoloration.
- Baking soda and lemon juice: Baking soda is a natural abrasive that can help to remove surface stains from the teeth. Mixing a small amount of baking soda with lemon juice to create a paste and applying it to the teeth can help to whiten the teeth and reduce tooth discoloration. However, it’s important to be cautious with this treatment, as the acid in the lemon juice can soften and erode the enamel on the teeth if used too frequently.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of natural remedies and homeopathic treatments for brown spots on teeth may vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a dental professional before starting any treatment.
The Role of Fluoride in Protecting Your Teeth Against Discoloration and Decay
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in water, soil, and various foods. It has been shown to be effective in preventing tooth decay and can also help to prevent tooth discoloration.
Toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride can help to strengthen the enamel on the teeth, making them more resistant to staining and discoloration. Using a toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride can also help to kill bacteria in the mouth and reduce the risk of tooth decay, which can lead to tooth discoloration.
It’s important to use toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride as directed and to follow good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, to get the most benefit.
Professional Treatments for Brown Spots on Teeth:
|Treatment||Effectiveness||Possible Risks or Side Effects|
|Teeth whitening||Can significantly improve the appearance of teeth||Can cause tooth sensitivity or discomfort, as well as gum irritation or sensitivity|
|Bonding||Can cover up tooth discoloration||May require the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel, which can leave the teeth more vulnerable to decay if not properly cared for|
|Veneers||Can cover up tooth discoloration||May require the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel, which can leave the teeth more vulnerable to decay if not properly cared for|
|Crowns||Can cover up tooth discoloration||More invasive procedure that may require multiple office visits to complete; risk of infection or other complications following the procedure|
If at-home remedies aren’t sufficient for eliminating brown spots on teeth, there are several professional treatments available that may be more effective. These treatments include:
Teeth whitening: Teeth whit as a more powerful bleaching agent than those found in at-home kits, and it can be applied directly to the teeth by a dental professional. This treatment can typically be completed in one office visit and can provide dramatic results.
Bonding: Bonding involves the application of a tooth-colored resin material to the surface of the tooth to cover up brown spots or other imperfections. This treatment can be completed in one office visit and can be a more affordable option compared to veneers or crowns.
Veneers: Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front surface of the tooth. They are typically made of porcelain or composite material and can be used to cover up brown spots, as well as other imperfections such as chips, cracks, or gaps between the teeth. Veneers can be an effective solution for eliminating brown spots, but they are more expensive than bonding and may require more than one office visit to complete.
Crowns: Crowns, also known as caps, are used to cover the entire surface of a tooth. They are typically made of porcelain, ceramic, or metal and can be used to cover up brown spots, as well as other imperfections such as large cavities or broken teeth. Crowns are a more invasive treatment option and can be more expensive than other treatments, but they can provide a more durable and long-lasting solution for covering up brown spots.
Exploring the Risks and Side Effects of At-Home and Professional Treatments for Brown Spots on Teeth
While at-home remedies and professional treatments for brown spots on teeth can be effective in eliminating or minimizing tooth discoloration, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with these treatments.
At-home remedies, such as brushing with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, can be abrasive and may cause tooth sensitivity or irritation if used too frequently or in high concentrations. Oil pulling, while generally considered to be safe, may cause gastrointestinal symptoms if swallowed, and there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in whitening teeth.
Professional treatments for brown spots on teeth, such as teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, and crowns, can also carry risks and side effects. Teeth whitening, for example, can cause tooth sensitivity or discomfort, as well as gum irritation or sensitivity. Bonding and veneers may require the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel, which can leave the teeth more vulnerable to decay if not properly cared for. Crowns can be more invasive and may require multiple office visits to complete, and there is a risk of infection or other complications following the procedure.
It’s important to consult with a dental professional before starting any treatment for brown spots on teeth and to follow their instructions carefully to minimize the risk of complications.
Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity or Discomfort After Professional Treatment for Brown Spots on Teeth
Professional treatments for brown spots on teeth, such as teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, and crowns, can cause tooth sensitivity or discomfort as a side effect. This sensitivity can be caused by the treatment itself or by the exposure of the underlying dentin, which is more sensitive than the enamel on the surface of the teeth.
If you experience tooth sensitivity or discomfort after a professional treatment for brown spots on teeth, there are a few steps you can take to manage these side effects:
- Use sensitive toothpaste: Sensitivity toothpaste, which is formulated with ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, can help to reduce tooth sensitivity by blocking the transmission of pain signals from the tooth to the nerve.
- Avoid hot or cold foods and beverages: Hot or cold foods and beverages can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Try to avoid consuming these types of foods and beverages, or at least allow them to cool to a more comfortable temperature before consuming them.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: A soft-bristled toothbrush can be less abrasive on the teeth and gums and may cause less sensitivity than a toothbrush with firmer bristles.
- Avoid abrasive toothpaste: Some toothpaste formulas can be abrasive and may contribute to tooth sensitivity. Avoiding toothpaste with ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate or hydrated silica can help to minimize sensitivity.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication: If you are experiencing discomfort after a professional treatment for brown spots on teeth, over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to relieve the discomfort.
By following these tips, you can manage tooth sensitivity or discomfort after a professional treatment for brown spots on teeth and continue to enjoy a healthy, bright smile.
|Bonding||$300-$1,500 per tooth|
|Veneers||$800-$2,500 per tooth|
|Crowns||$1,000-$1,500 per tooth|
Preventing Brown Spots on Teeth:
While it may not always be possible to prevent brown spots on teeth, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your risk:
Practice good oral hygiene: Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can help to remove plaque and tartar build-up, which can contribute to tooth discoloration.
Avoid staining foods and drinks: Limit your consumption of staining foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and red wine, and try to brush or rinse your mouth out with water immediately after consuming them.
Use a straw when drinking dark beverages: Using a straw can help to minimize the contact of staining beverages with your teeth, reducing the risk of discoloration.
Quit smoking: Tobacco use can lead to yellowing or browning of the teeth, as well as an increased risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting smoking can help to improve the overall health of your mouth and reduce your risk of tooth discoloration.
How Your Diet and Nutrition Affect the Health and Appearance of Your Teeth
Your diet and nutrition play a significant role in the health and appearance of your teeth. Here are a few ways that diet and nutrition can impact tooth discoloration:
- Staining foods and drinks: Consuming foods and drinks that are high in pigments, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, can stain the teeth and cause them to appear yellow or brown. Limiting your consumption of these staining foods and drinks, or brushing or rinsing your mouth out with water immediately after consuming them, can help to prevent tooth discoloration.
- Acidic foods and drinks: Foods and drinks that are high in acid, such as citrus fruits and sports drinks, can soften and erode the enamel on the teeth, making them more susceptible to staining and discoloration. Limiting your consumption of acidic foods and drinks and rinsing your mouth out with water after consuming them can help to protect the enamel on your teeth.
- Sugary foods and drinks: Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acid as a byproduct, which can lead to tooth decay and discoloration. Limiting your consumption of sugary foods and drinks and brushing your teeth regularly can help to prevent tooth discoloration caused by decay.
Incorporating a well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and other nutrients can also help to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Why it’s Important to See a Dental Professional for Treatment of Brown Spots on Teeth
While at-home remedies and over-the-counter teeth whitening products may be tempting for treating brown spots on teeth, it’s important to consider the potential risks and limitations of these treatments.
At-home remedies, such as brushing with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, can be abrasive and may cause tooth sensitivity or irritation if used too frequently or in high concentrations. They may also be less effective at eliminating or minimizing tooth discoloration compared to professional treatments.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products may also be less effective and may contain lower concentrations of bleaching agents compared to those used by dental professionals. In addition, these products may not be suitable for everyone, as they may cause sensitivity or irritation in some individuals.
On the other hand, dental professionals have the training and expertise to accurately diagnose the cause of brown spots on teeth and recommend the most appropriate treatment. They can also take steps to minimize the risk of complications and ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.
By seeking treatment from a dental professional, you can have confidence that you are receiving the best care possible for the brown spots on teeth.
To sum up, brown spots on teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, staining from food and drinks, trauma or injury to the tooth, poor oral hygiene, and medications. While there are a variety of at-home remedies that may help to eliminate brown spots, professional treatments such as teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, and crowns may be more effective. It’s also important to practice good oral hygiene and avoid staining foods and drinks to help prevent the development of brown spots on teeth. Regular dental check-ups are also important in helping to identify and treat brown spots early on.
Q: Can brown spots on teeth be removed completely?
A: In most cases, brown spots on teeth can be significantly lightened or removed completely with professional treatments such as teeth whitening or bonding. However, it’s important to note that some types of tooth discoloration, such as those caused by medications or trauma, may be more difficult to fully remove.
Q: Is it possible to prevent brown spots on teeth?
A: While it may not always be possible to completely prevent it, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk, such as practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding staining foods and drinks, using a straw when drinking dark beverages, and quitting smoking. Regular dental check-ups can also help to identify and treat brown spots early on.
Q: How much do professional treatments for brown spots on teeth cost?
A: The cost of professional treatments for brown spots on teeth can vary greatly depending on the specific treatment and location of the brown spots. Teeth whitening, for example, can range in price from $500 to $1,500, while veneers can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 per tooth. Bonding and crowns tend to fall somewhere in the middle, with prices ranging from $300 to $1,500 per tooth. It’s important to consult with a dental professional to get a more accurate estimate for the specific treatment you are interested in.
- Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tooth-discoloration/symptoms-causes/syc-20350864
- American Dental Association: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/discolored-teeth
- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-discoloration#1
Alternative Medicine Approaches to Treating Brown Spots on Teeth
As we age, we may notice brown spots or discoloration on our teeth. While this can be a cosmetic concern, it can also be an indicator of other dental issues. While traditional dentistry may suggest professional teeth whitening or bonding, herbal and alternative medicine approaches have been gaining popularity in treating brown spots on teeth.
One natural remedy that has been used for centuries is oil pulling. This technique involves swishing oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes to remove toxins and bacteria. Coconut oil is a popular choice due to its high lauric acid content, which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. When used regularly, oil pulling can help whiten teeth and remove stains.
Another alternative medicine approach to treating brown spots on teeth is activated charcoal. While it may seem counterintuitive to use a black substance to whiten teeth, activated charcoal has been shown to absorb toxins and impurities, leading to a brighter smile. It can be used in toothpaste, as a mouthwash, or by applying it directly to the teeth with a toothbrush.
Additionally, certain herbs and spices have been shown to have whitening and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric, for example, has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to whiten teeth and promote oral health. Simply mix turmeric with coconut oil and brush your teeth with the mixture for a natural and effective whitening treatment.
While these alternative medicine approaches may not work for everyone, they offer a natural and holistic approach to treating brown spots on teeth. It’s important to talk to your dentist before trying any new remedies, as they can determine the underlying cause of the discoloration and ensure that your teeth are healthy and strong.
I know this sounds a little disgusting, but I have good oral hygiene (brush twice a day, sometimes three). I cannot get rid of pesky little brown stains around my teeth. They’re nothing that stand out but they annoy me and I want to get rid of them without having to break the bank at the dentist.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You might not need a whitening treatment, just a dental cleaning. I had a stain in a very slight grove of one of my front teeth a few years ago, despite having really good oral hygiene and buying multiple whitening products. Went for a routine cleaning, and it was gone afterwards. Yes, it still requires a dental visit, but I wouldn’t say it should “break the bank.”
Brown spots can be removed depending on their type.
firstly it is very important to visit a dentist to check the fact whether it is an extrinsic or intrinsic stains.
extrinsic stains can be removed either by cleaning or by bleaching, these are the stains which occur because of some external causes, which can be smoking, tobacco chewing or any coloring foodstuffs etc.
whereas on the other hand the intrinsic stains cannot be as such removed since they are present internally.
for removing such stains the treatment option that is advocated is either bleaching or laminates.
so you need to visit a doctor and get it checked first and then either of the treatment options can be instituted depending upon your needs, finance etc.