Maternal Antibiotic Use And Dental Staining

If your mother took tetracycline, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, when she was pregnant with you, you may have developed stained teeth. This type of staining, known as intrinsic staining makes the teeth look brown or grayish.

Because intrinsic stains are not caused by food dyes on the surface of the tooth, laser or bleaching treatments are ineffective. There are, however, a number of effective cosmetic dentistry procedures that can improve your smile, even if your tooth stains are very dark and noticeable. Here are some cosmetic dentistry procedures that are effective in treating intrinsic stains:

Tooth Bonding 

Your dentist may recommend a tooth bonding procedure to improve the appearance of your teeth if they are intrinsically stained. When you get your teeth bonded, your dentist will apply a natural-looking product known as composite resin to the affected teeth. The resin is applied to the surface of the teeth with an adhesive and special light, which bonds the resin to the teeth, hence, the name.

Not only can tooth bonding be used on stained teeth, but it can also be used if your teeth are chipped. Tooth bonding is typically not permanent and may need to be repeated after a few years. After your bonding procedure, your dentist will recommend that you avoid consuming coffee, tea, blueberries, and red wine, as well as avoiding cigarettes for a couple days to help prevent staining of the resin. Your dentist may also recommend that you avoid eating foods that are hard for the first day after your procedure so that the bonding material has ample time to set properly.

Porcelain Veneers

Another cosmetic procedure your dentist may recommend to treat your tooth stains is the application of porcelain veneers. Like bonding, veneers do not eliminate the stains on your teeth but just covers them up. Veneers are jacket-like covers that are affixed over your teeth to give them a brighter appearance.

Veneers typically last much longer than tooth bonding, however, they are usually not permanent. Porcelain veneers are very resistant to stains from tea, coffee, red wine, and smoking, unlike your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are not porous, and therefore do not stain, however, you may develop some discoloration on the edges of your veneers because this is where they meet your natural teeth.

If you have deep, intrinsic stains on your teeth, talk to a dentist such as Gregory S Rutherford, DDS to learn about the best treatment options for your individual situation. While bleaching procedures will do little to enhance the color of your teeth, the above options will greatly improve your appearance.