Abnormalities in tooth color can result from a number of causes. Food pigments may stain the teeth, although these changes should be temporary. Smoking can also discolor the teeth. Excess fluoride intake can cause a range of color changes from a lacy, chalky white discoloration to severe brown staining of the teeth. (Refer to Chapter 6: Fluoride
for more information).
In addition, nerve necrosis secondary to trauma or severe caries results in grayish tooth discoloration. Tetracycline use by a pregnant mother in the second half of pregnancy or by a child early in life may cause an abnormal darkening of the teeth. Oral iron supplementation can also lead to dark discoloration that sometimes requires a dentist’s assistance for removal.
High fevers during tooth formation can cause tooth discoloration or lines in the teeth. Other medical problems that can lead to tooth discoloration include
Abnormalities of porphyrin metabolism characterized by excretion of excess porphyrins in the urine and by extreme sensitivity to light; usually hereditary .
The presence of an excess of bilirubin in the blood.
Faulty development of tooth enamel that is genetically determined.
. Poor oral hygiene can also lead to caries and discoloration of