Too much fluoride from environmental sources (natural high water fluoride levels) or overuse of fluoride rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements
Good oral hygiene will help if the teeth are stained from a food or fluid, or discolored due to poor cleaning.
Talk to your dentist about abnormal tooth color. However, if the color seems to be related to a medical condition, you should talk to your regular health care provider as well.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
Teeth appear to be an abnormal color without cause
Abnormal tooth color lasts, even after cleaning the teeth well
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The dentist will examine the teeth and ask questions about the symptoms. Questions may involve:
When the abnormal coloration began
Foods you have been eating
Medications you are taking
Personal and family health history
Exposure to fluoride
Oral care habits
Other symptoms you may have
Superficial and diet-related discoloration may be eliminated with proper hygienic treatment or teeth-whitening systems. More profound discoloration may need to be removed using fillings, veneers or crowns.
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.
Tinanoff N. Development and developmental anomalies of the teeth. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 299.
Ilona Fotek, DMD, MS, Palm Beach Prosthodontics Dental Associates, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.