Since the enamel of permanent teeth is slightly transparent, the yellowish colour of the underlying dentine is shown through it. Therefore, permanent teeth will appear slightly yellowish. As we get older, the dentine increasingly grows thicker, and it is normal that our teeth become more yellowish.
The enamel of deciduous teeth is not as transparent as our permanent teeth. That is why deciduous teeth look milky white.
There are two factors causing tooth discoloration — internal factor and external factor.
External factors causing tooth discoloration
Brown and black stains on the surface of teeth
Drinking of dark-coloured beverages, such as tea, result in the food colours being adsorbed onto the tooth surfaces.
The dentist will use:
Prophyjet — utilizing air to spray a mixture of fine baking soda powder and water onto the surfaces of teeth to remove stains.
Avoid drinking dark-coloured beverages to minimize food colours being adsorbed.
Green and orange stains at the surface of teeth
Teeth has not been cleaned thoroughly, and the accumulated dental plaque contained bacteria or fungi that can produce colour and formed green and orange stains.
Dentist will perform scaling to remove accumulated dental plaque and stains.
Brush the teeth every morning and before bed at night, and use dental floss to remove dental plaque to keep the teeth white.
Internal factors causing tooth discoloration
If there was certain sickness or, if tetracycline (a kind of antibiotics) is taken during the development of teeth, the teeth formed will be greyish-blue to brownish-yellow.
Teeth appear to be greyish-black
The dentist removes the tooth decay, and then puts on a filling.
The pulp becomes necrotic because of tooth trauma or tooth decay, and the tooth will appear greyish-black.
Endodontic treatment must be done to treat the discoloured tooth which has pulp necrosis.
If teeth still appear greyish-black, dentist can treat the discoloured teeth by bleaching, laminate veneer or crown.
Brownish-yellow or white patches at the surface of a tooth
Disturbance during the development of tooth
If a deciduous tooth is so decayed that the pulp is exposed, the bacteria, via the apex of the tooth, will cause an infection in the vicinity of the developing permanent successor. This will disturb the development of the enamel of the permanent tooth, resulting in the formation of brownish-yellow patches.
Early tooth decay
Dentist can apply topical fluoride onto the surfaces of teeth so that the early tooth decay lesion can be remineralised.
Disturbance during the development of a tooth or Fluorosis
Treatments such as Filling, Laminate veneer or Crown.