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).
Abnormalities in tooth color can be caused by the following:
- Nerve necrosis secondary to trauma
- Severe caries
- Tetracycline use by a pregnant mother in the second half of pregnancy or by a child early in life
- Oral iron supplementation
- Poor oral hygiene
- Medical problems