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Spotty Teeth
Posted on 9/11/2015 by Dr Mark Mutschler
Many kids or their parents ask me about spots they see on teeth.

There are several different types of spots found on teeth:


•  white spots
•  chalky yellow spots
•  chalky brown spots
•  dark brown spots
•  black spots

Each of these have different causes but most have similar treatment: Treatment is either leaving it, polishing off the surface of the tooth or placing a filling of some sort.

White spots can be caused by:


•  beginning cavities
•  too much fluoride during tooth development –
•  NOT after they are in the mouth
•  trauma can leave a white mark on teeth
•  extra thick enamel will look whiter
•  baby teeth are always whiter than permanent teeth

Chalky yellow spots can be caused by:


•  poor development of enamel
•  fevers near birth can affect front teeth
•  cavities that are just starting and are actively growing

Chalky brown spots can be caused by:


•  poor development of enamel, more serious than the yellow spots
•  cavities that are older

Dark brown spots can be caused by:


•  older cavities
•  severe over exposure to fluoride during tooth development
•  stains inside the tooth
•  some childhood antibiotics can cause this

Black spots can be caused by:


•  old cavities that are not actively growing
•  old food stains

Surprisingly, often the ugliest spots are the least damaging and the subtle yellow or white spots are where cavities are actively growing.

The spots that are easiest to just polish off are the white ones. They are usually just on the surface of the enamel.

The hardest ones to treat are the deep stains in the tooth caused by antibiotics (tetracycline for example) taken while in the womb or as infants.

These usually need crowns or veneers to cover up the deep dark colors.
Learn more about Invisalign® for your teen Learn more about traditional orthodontics at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland Learn more about the friendly children's dentistry at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland

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13908 SE Stark Street Suite C Portland, OR 97233-2161

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