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 if the abnormal color is the result of poor hygiene.
It is appropriate to consult your dentist for abnormally colored teeth. However, if the color seems to be related to a medical condition, your regular health care provider should also be consulted.
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 practicing good oral hygiene
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The dentist will examine the teeth and ask questions about the symptoms. Questions may include:
Have the teeth been abnormally colored since they grew in, or did they change color over time?
When did you notice this problem?
Does it improve when good oral hygiene is maintained?
What foods and drinks do you or your child usually consume?
Does the person drink coffee or tea?
How much milk and dairy products does the person drink?
What medications are currently being used?
What medications have been taken in the past (particularly, did the child ever take tetracycline)?
What medications did the mother take when pregnant?
Health history and family history
Do other members of the family have teeth that are abnormally colored?
How has the general health been?
Was the child jaundiced as a baby?
Is the water fluoridated where you live or visit frequently?
Do you take fluoride supplements?
Oral hygiene habits
Are there frequent problems with the teeth such as cavities or gum inflammation?
What are the dental habits?
How often are the teeth brushed and flossed?
What kind of toothpaste, mouthwash, or similar substances are used?
What other symptoms are also present?
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.
Paul Fotek, DMD, Florida Institute for Periodontics & Dental lmplants, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.