Tooth discoloration

Where do discolored teeth come from? What can you do against discolored teeth? What are the pros and cons of bleaching?

Tooth discoloration
Where do discolored teeth come from? What can you do against discolored teeth? What are the pros and cons of bleaching?

Useful tips


You take good care of your teeth. You brush twice a day and visit the dentist regularly for a check-up. Yet not everyone has an even white teeth. Discoloration of the teeth cannot always be prevented. Fortunately it can be treated.


Discoloration to the teeth can have various causes. If your mother has used antibiotics as a pregnant woman, you may suffer from a 'tetracycline discoloration'. This dark brown discoloration on the outside of your teeth only becomes visible when your adult teeth have broken through.



Throughout your life, food and stimulant colorants leave marks on your teeth. Coffee, tea, smoking and wine are good examples of this. By filling holes and placing crowns, color differences can occur in the mouth.


If a nerve dies from a tooth and the dead contents of the root canal remain stuck, this can cause a blue-gray discoloration. This discoloration is inside your tooth.



Discolorations that lie on the surface of the tooth can be brushed away. Various whitening toothpastes are available for this. Often discolorations lie deeper in the glaze, so brushing away does not help. Then you can have your teeth whitened. Below the most common applications for smooth teeth.



You can prevent color differences by filling holes or placing crowns by asking for a filling with tooth-colored material. The dark amalgam filling that used to fill all the holes can now be replaced with a tooth-colored filling: composite.


Dead teeth

When a tooth is called dead, only the nerve actually died. If the dead nerve remains in the tooth, the tooth discolors on the inside. The dentist can remove the dead nerve with a root canal treatment. After this, he or she can apply a so-called 'current bleaching method'. Then the cavity where the nerve has been is filled with a bleaching fluid. This liquid is removed after a few days and replaced by a white filling that permanently fills the cavity.



Not in all cases does the current bleaching method have the desired result. Then a crown or facing is the last resort. A crown is a tooth-colored covering that is placed over the ground tooth. Facing is the application of a layer of composite on the front of the teeth. This masks discolorations. Facing is also used to adjust the shape and position of the teeth.



Tooth whitening is a relatively simple way to whiten your teeth. It is therefore preferable to far-reaching means such as facing or crowns. However, the result may differ from person to person. Bleaching is not extremely expensive, but is often not reimbursed by the insurance.


Benefits of bleaching

  • The tooth color improves, especially with slight even discolorations.
  • In the case of a dead tooth, additional treatment with, for example, a facing can be prevented or made simpler.



  • The result is not predictable.
  • Over time, the result becomes less, so that re-treatment is often necessary.
  • Smoking, tea and coffee will often cause discoloration over time. This happens even faster than before bleaching, because bleaching makes the surface of the teeth more porous.
  • Increase the sensitivity of the teeth. This is usually a temporary effect.