Brown spots on teeth: prevention and solutions

Brown spots on teeth: prevention and solutions

Upon inspection of your mouth, you discover brown stains on your teeth. To your dismay, they persist after brushing. These stains appear mainly in the mouths of adults, and more rarely in those of children. They can affect one or all of the front or back teeth, on the inside or outside. Depending on the individual, they range in color from light yellow to brown. How can you erase these imperfections to restore your radiant smile? HELVIDENT shares some tips on how to prevent them and get rid of brown or black spots. 

Causes of brown spots on teeth

Intrinsic tooth discoloration

If you notice brown spots on your teeth, don't panic. It may be unsightly, but in most cases it's not serious. The causes are usually external. As enamel is slightly porous, certain substances can stain it over time. Dentists in Lausanne and Fribourg refer to this as extrinsic staining.

Tooth colouring is essentially a matter of individual habits: 

  • Visit tobacco consumptionSmoking is one of the main causes of brown stains on teeth. It consists of tar and nicotine, which attack enamel.
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • High, regular consumption of colored beverages (coffee, tea, red wine or soft drinks).
  • Black tartar build-up between the teeth or on the gums.
  • Chlorhexidine in mouthwash.
  • The presence of cavities inside the teeth. 

Intrinsic tooth discoloration

In other cases, the cause of brown discoloration is intrinsic. In other words, it comes from inside the tooth. Generally speaking, the cause is to be found in pathology, heredity or medication (cyclin, fluoride). A link has been established between brown spots and amoxicillin. This antibiotic, used to combat a number of infections, can in rare cases lead to tooth discoloration.

Brown spots on baby's teeth

Staining of baby teeth is often linked to a build-up of plaque on the surface of the teeth. This means that teeth are not being brushed effectively and regularly. You should also be aware that your baby or child may have black stains on their teeth. This is a side effect of taking iron supplements. This phenomenon can also occur after a shock or a fall.

How do I remove brown stains from my teeth?

Changing consumer habits

The majority of brown stains on teeth affect the enamel and are superficial. This makes them easier to remove. At this stage, dentists advise you to limit your consumption of tannin-rich foods. Avoid coffee, tea, red wine and dark-colored soft drinks. If you smoke, it's strongly recommended that you quit, since tobacco is still the main cause of brown spots on teeth. At the same time, practice impeccable oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day after meals, for at least two minutes. Use fluoride toothpaste and floss or brushes to clean interdental spaces. And remember to rinse your mouth after eating sweet or acidic foods.

A follow-up visit to the dentist

You may be tempted to use natural remedies to remove brown spots from your teeth. These include baking soda, coconut oil and banana peel. That said, it's best to make an appointment with a dentist in the French-speaking part of Switzerland to seek medical advice. This is your chance to make sure you have no cavities, and to treat any problems that may arise. 

Tooth whitening treatments

In certain situations, tooth whitening is the ideal solution. We recommendavoid cheap whitening products at home. There are many health risks involved. It's best to consult a dentist to determine the cause(s) of the stains. He or she can suggest :

  • Ambulatory treatment with a custom-made mouth tray: a lightening product is placed inside, and you wear it for several hours every day. This treatment lasts between 8 and 15 days, depending on your needs.
  • In-office treatment: a product rich in hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth for about an hour.
  • A mixed treatment that combines the two previous treatments.

The HELVIDENT team welcomes you to our dental practices in Fribourg, Lausanne or Aigle. We perform all standard and specialized dental and orthodontic procedures, as well as implants. Don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our dental hygienists for personalized advice on your oral hygiene.