Your smile is your special signature to the world. When it’s healthy and bright, your unique personality while shine through to everyone who sees it. Because it’s our most used and visible accessory, it’s wise to give it proper care and attention, for both health and cosmetic reasons.
The first thing to stand out about your smile is the color of your teeth. Most discoloration is the kind that affects the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. Dark colored food and drinks, like red wine, coffee, chocolate and caramel cause enamel staining. Most times, a professional teeth cleaning will be enough to remove the staining. If the staining is still present after a cleaning, use over the counter whitening strips or a professional teeth whitening kit. But what about the discoloration that is randomly affecting only one tooth? What caused that darkness? More importantly, how can you fix it?
A tooth will appear dark because it is damaged internally. An injury, such as a significant blow or fall to the face will cause the blood vessels living inside the root of your tooth to burst. The most concerning aspect of an internally darken tooth, is the likelihood that the root is fractured and that an abscess (infection) is present. Left unchecked, the abscess will not only continue to make the tooth darker, but will also grow rampantly. It could spread to the jaw and throughout the body, which could cause pain. An x-ray will usually be unable to detect any fractures in the root, so your Dentist will need to check your gums for any inflammation and sensitivity. All hope is not lost should your tooth be infected; a root canal will performed to remove all of the bacteria and infection.
Call your Dentist to let them know any troubling changes in your smile’s appearance. A little flaw on the surface, could very well be a major underlying problem. Be proactive to keep your smile in the best shape possible! Next week, we’ll cover how to cosmetically improve a darkened tooth.