Discoloration appearing on your teeth can be an indicator of the start of tooth decay. However, it can also merely be an indication of dental staining. Discoloration on your teeth can come from many sources, ranging from tooth decay to consumption of dark-colored foods and beverages. It always pays to have any staining on your teeth checked out by our team at Dentistry of Miami. If you keep up with your oral health practices consistently, then it’s likely just staining. Staining is relatively easy to address. However, if it does end up being an indication of tooth decay, you must take action as soon as possible. Learn more about dental staining and cavities below.
Dental Discoloration: Is It Tooth Decay Or Just Staining?
It’s no wonder many people get concerned when they start seeing discoloration on their teeth. It’s well-known that dental decay often starts with the appearance of discoloration on the surface of the teeth. However, in cases where dental hygiene practices are adhered to closely, it can be a baseless concern. Discoloration typically results from ongoing exposure to dark-colored food and beverages but can also result from vices such as tobacco use or alcohol. There are a range of reasons that discoloration may occur, but all of them are broken down into two simple categories:
- Extrinsic Staining – This form of discoloration is rooted in the enamel of the teeth. Your lifestyle and diet often contribute to the formation of staining on the surface of the teeth. This staining can typically be addressed with non-invasive treatments and even some over-the-counter options for mild staining.
- Inherent Staining – Inherent staining is a more severe condition involving discoloration rooted in the tooth’s interior. This form of discoloration often forms as the result of disease or age. The most effective treatment for this staining typically involves concealing them with veneers or other dental treatments.
Cavities, on the other hand, are a much more significant threat to the health of your teeth. One indicator that it’s a cavity, not mere staining, is when the discoloration is localized. Cavities are generally identifiable in their early stages due to white clouding in the enamel, indicating demineralization. When left untreated, the decay will advance, causing the spot to become dark grey and eventually black. Dental decay is almost always the result of poor dental hygiene, though certain medical conditions can contribute to its severity. Even more dangerously, dental decay is often the first step to gum disease. The consequences of untreated periodontal disease are quick serious, and, in severe cases, life-threatening.
Find Out The Cause Of Dental Discoloration With Us
If you’re ready to take action and learn whether your dental discoloration is caused by simple staining or risky dental disease, call us at (305) 598-2622. We’ll schedule a dental exam with one of our team at our Miami, FL, office. During your visit, they’ll discuss your oral health concerns, complete a full exam, and offer next steps for addressing the issue. Whether you’re struggling with dental staining or the onset of a cavity, our team is here to help.