My teeth look gray. Is there any hope for my gray teeth and whitening them? Should I ask a dentist for whitening treatment? My teeth haven’t always been this shade, but the problem has worsened over the past eight years. The stains are not on my teeth. They look like they are coming from the inside. I am disappointed that my dentist does not seem more concerned because I’ve had the same dentist for the past ten years. I’ve decided to see a different dentist about the staining. But before I schedule an appointment, can you give me an idea of what to expect for treatment? Thank you. Levi from Illinois
Thank you for your question. Gray spots that are intrinsic—or naturally a part of the teeth—are beneath the enamel.
What Causes Gray Teeth?
Factors that may cause gray teeth stains or discoloration include:
- Medication – Medication, particularly tetracycline, taken during childhood while teeth are developing can cause teeth to stain. Tetracycline binds to calcium ions in developing teeth. When teeth erupt and the tetracycline is oxidized, it turns dark in color, and yellow, brown, or gray spots become a part of the inner tooth structure. Certain antibiotics can cause tooth discoloration in adults.
- Trauma – Trauma or an accident that impacts your teeth or mouth can disrupt the blood flow and cause teeth to discolor.
- Dental work – Metal used in fillings or dental cement in tooth restorations can show gray spots or streaks through the enamel.
- Medical conditions – Nutritional deficiencies, specific acquired and hereditary diseases, and genetic defects can cause gray teeth.
What Are the Treatment Options for Gray Teeth?
Treatment for gray teeth can include one or more cosmetic treatments to improve the color. A skilled cosmetic dentist may recommend bleaching, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or ceramic crowns, depending on the cause of discoloration and condition of your teeth.
Visit an experienced cosmetic dentist for an oral examination and a thorough review of your health history. They will determine the cause of the gray spots in your teeth and the best way to treat them. The cosmetic dentist will discuss your treatment options.
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited Fellow and Monroe, Louisiana dentist, Dr. David Finley sponsors this post.