My child’s teeth are discoloured? Why?

During your child’s early years, there’s a lot to worry about, you wouldn’t want to add anything to it – especially not tooth discolouration. After all, it seems like their teeth just erupted and haven’t even had the chance to encounter things like coffee! 

The onset of discolouration of teeth occurs with age. If you’re thinking why your toddler faces this problem – then know that it’s more common than you think. 

Did you take a close look and your toddler’s teeth? Do they look like they are not ready for toothpaste commercials? If yes, then here are the numerous factors that contribute to discolouration. 

Reasons why your child’s teeth may be discoloured

  1. Too much iron – Iron supplements and iron-rich water are the primary causes for a black or grey stain to develop on your baby’s teeth. This form of staining is harmless and can be simply brushed away with the help of a parent or by the dentist.   
  2. Inadequate brushing – Although it’s a great idea to foster independence in routine hygiene habits, your little one might need help with brushing adequately. When baby’s teeth aren’t brushed effectively, it leads to the formation of plaque on teeth which in turn causes discolouration.   
  3. Fluorosis – Too much fluoride can cause a condition called fluorosis. The primary indicator of this condition is faint white spots or streaks on the teeth. Although only a cosmetic concern, getting it checked the dentist is always recommended.    
  4. Medication – Medication for infants that contain iron, like supplemental vitamins, will likely cause stains on the child’s teeth. Similarly, taking certain antibiotics at the time of pregnancy or breast-feeding too can result in the baby having teeth that are discoloured.
  5. Tooth decay – White, chalky spots are indicators that tooth decay is beginning for your child. If ignored, this spots will turn brown or yellow. Signs of tooth decay should never be ignored.
  6. Injury to the tooth – If a single tooth is dark coloured it could mean that there is bleeding within the tooth because of dental trauma.
  7. Trauma – Because of an injury, a single entire tooth can look dark or grey. The reason could mean that there is bleeding within/inside the tooth because as a result of the injury. This needs to be looked at by a dentist.  
  8. Weak enamel – Genetic problems with enamel formation can cause a baby’s teeth to be discoloured.
  9. Illness – Few babies develop baby teeth with a green or yellow shade. This is due to a condition they are born with – ‘hyperbilirubinemia’ (when there is too much bilirubin in the blood).   

When to see the dentist…

Just because your baby’s teeth are going to fall out sometime soon, doesn’t mean you overlook any oral issues. Some problems which cause discolouration can be due to some underlying health problem whereas, in case the cause is poor oral hygiene, the problem can be tackled instantly. Not only will this be a lesson that kid’s learn and continue their life but also a way to contain lifelong consequences.   

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Last updated on 06 June, 2018.

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