White or brown stains on teeth can occur from several reasons. Sometimes the stain is only on one tooth and sometimes it is widespread throughout the mouth. Developmental defects and /or staining are an esthetic problem and they may indicate a weakened tooth, to which early intervention can be beneficial to the patient. In this blog we will discuss different reasons for staining and developmental defects in teeth and the treatment of them.
A small white or yellow stain on a singular tooth is usually caused from local trauma to the developing tooth. Trauma or infection of a baby tooth can affect the permanent tooth that is developing in the gums under the baby tooth. The result may not be seen until the permanent tooth erupts many years later.
The permeant incisors and first molars start developing in the first year of a baby’s life. Sometimes if the baby was sick, ran a fever or suffered from complications in development after birth we may see white or yellow areas in several front teeth and six-year molars. These are areas of enamel that are hypomineralized and they tend to be weaker and more susceptible to decay. This situation is called MIH (Molar- Incisor Hypoplasia.) It is important to treat the six-year molars early, after their eruption to limit their breakdown and decay. Treatment of the molars may be with fillings or crowns determined by the extent of the defect. Incisors may be treated with bonding, whitening. and/or microabrasion. When a child is old enough crowns or veneers may be considered. Over exposure to fluoride or certain antibiotics as a young child can also cause brown, grey or yellow stains on multiple teeth.
There are also genetic disorders that can affect the overall development of all the teeth, for example Dentinogensis Imperfecta and Amelogenesis Imperfecta. Some disorders affect multiple areas of the body, not just the teeth. In these cases, it is important to be treated consistently from a young age as teeth erupt, along with a long-term restorative plan to preserve as much tooth structure as possible.
Dr. Shabtai Sapir has extensive experience treating many of the defects discussed above and has published numerous scientific articles on these defects. Treatment needs to be preventive as well as provide an esthetic solution. If you or a loved one suufers from any of these issues call Norfolk Family & Pediatric Dentistry (508)850-6992 to set up a consultation.
Before Teeth with white and yellow staining defects After treatment with Enamel Microabrasion
Case of Dentingensis Imperfecta impacting all teeth in the mouth- Pretreatment