Taking care of your gums and teeth helps you avoid cavities and bad breath. It also helps to keep gum disease away. An important part of good oral hygiene is avoiding and being on the lookout for brown stains on your teeth.
Brown stains on your teeth can be visible or subtle. They range in colour from almost yellow to dark brown. Some brown stains look like marbled spots and others look like lines. They can be irregular in shape or almost uniform.
Brown stains are often a sign of poor oral hygiene, but other reasons can accelerate their appearance.
Tobacco is a frequent cause of surface stains on teeth. Nicotine is found in tobacco products such as :
- chewing tobacco
- pipe tobacco
Food and Beverages
Tooth discolouration, including brown, grey and yellow stains, can be caused by what you eat and drink, such as :
- red wine
When the tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth, begins to erode, tooth decay results. Bacterial plaque is constantly forming on your teeth.
When you eat foods containing sugar, the bacteria produce acid. If plaque is not brushed regularly, the acid breaks down the tooth enamel. This leads to brown spots and cavities.
Tooth decay can vary in severity. If left untreated, it is a common cause of brown stains on the teeth.
When you do not regularly remove the plate, it can harden and turn into limescale. Tartar can vary in colour from yellow to brown and appears along the gum line.
Trauma to the mouth can damage the nerve of a tooth. This can lead to brown stains on the tooth or complete brown discolouration.
Mouthwash with chlorhexidine
This prescription mouthwash treats gum disease. A potential side effect is brown stains on the teeth.
As people age, their teeth may become darker or stained. This can be caused by a combination of factors that worsen over time, such as :
- surface stains caused by food, drink or tobacco
- darkening of dentine, which is a substance that surrounds each tooth and includes the layer underneath the tooth enamel
- thinning enamel
The colour of the teeth varies from person to person and can be genetic. Some people naturally have very white teeth and others slightly yellow or beige.
There are also genetic disorders, such as dentinogenesis imperfecta, which cause brown spots on the teeth.
Preventing brown spots on teeth
Taking care of your teeth will help them stay shiny, white and stain-free. One of the best things you can do to keep your teeth (and the rest of you) healthy is to quit smoking.
It is also important to watch what you eat and drink. Always brush after eating or drinking things that stain your teeth. And be sure to add calcium-rich foods to your diet. Calcium can help you prevent enamel erosion.