Return Some Uniformity to Your Smile: When a Single Tooth Is Discoloured

Posted on: 11 September 2017

Sometimes your teeth might not be as white as you like, and yet there should be a uniformity of colour when you smile. A single discoloured tooth can really stand out when you smile, and this can naturally make you feel self conscious. You might have learned to live with it, but you really don't have to. The shade of the tooth doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with its structural integrity, and yet the aesthetics can be displeasing. So what are some of the reasons why a single tooth might be a noticeably different shade to the rest of your teeth? And what can you do about it?

How It Can Happen

An injury to the tooth can result in discolouration. This might be blunt force trauma (a physical blow to your mouth) that has damaged the tooth, but not to the point where its nerve (dental pulp) has died or even needs any major repair work. It merely means that the dental enamel (the exterior component that coats the tooth) has been compromised, which cannot be reversed. It might also be due to something that has legitimately been ingested. Children who have been prescribed the antibiotics doxycycline and/or tetracycline might have one or more discoloured teeth, which is an unfortunate side effect of these medications. It generally results in individual discoloured teeth when the medication is prescribed before a child's adult teeth have grown in. Because they begin to grow out from the gums at different times, only some teeth are discoloured.

Precision Tooth Whitening

You have some options when it comes to returning a uniformity of colour to your smile, and of course the most appropriate course of action will depend on your particular circumstances. Rather than use a home teeth whitening kit, see your dentist. They can adjust the shade of each individual tooth with a precision that is impossible when using a home kit.

Dental Veneers

Some discoloured teeth (such as those affected by antibiotics) might not necessarily respond to whitening treatments. In this instance, front teeth veneers can be appropriate. These are wafer-thin sheets of porcelain or resin composite that are shaped to match the tooth. A tiny amount of the tooth's surface is removed before the veneer is bonded using a permanent dental adhesive. The tooth underneath is strong and so doesn't need replacement, and the veneer merely changes its outward appearance.

A single discoloured tooth can be fixed in a fairly straightforward way, and it's really not something you simply have to live with.