What the color of children's teeth tells us

When we talk about tooth staining It is necessary to distinguish between two types of situations: when the color variation is due to the fact that some type of substance has adhered to the tooth surface (extrinsic alterations), and those in which the internal structure of the tooth is affected (intrinsic alterations ).

The pediatric dentist is the right person to make the correct diagnosis and treatment. And the one in charge of evaluating the causes of this change in tooth color.

Extrinsic alterations can be eliminated by cleaning at the dentist. In children, the most frequently seen are:

- Yellow-orange or green spots, which are due to a careless brushing that causes the remains of food to be stained by the bacteria and fungi of the bacterial plaque.

- Black spots, consequence of the presence of chromogenic bacteria that react with the iron present in saliva or in medicines. They are not due to poor hygiene, in fact, they have been associated with a lower incidence of cavities. They usually disappear when the teeth change from the milk to the definitive teething.

The color of children's teeth can also change due to intrinsic causes, which alter the inside of the tooth. The most common in childhood are:

- Those due to cavities. Caries lesions begin as a whitish spot (decalcification) that gradually turns yellowish-dark and later a concavity appears. It is good to remember that a cavity in a milk tooth (which is not very close to falling out) should be treated with equal importance as those that appear in permanent teeth.

- Those sequels of a blow, which can sometimes go unnoticed. The crown, usually of an anterior tooth, turns gray-pink or yellow-brown. The trauma causes inflammation and / or death of the dental nerve. In milk teething, the pediatric dentist is most often just monitoring it, although an extraction may even be necessary. In permanent dentition, it requires dental treatment at the level of the tooth's nerve.

- MIH (Molar Incisor Hypomineralization). It is a very common alteration among children. It is characterized because the tooth is born with spots of a color that ranges from chalk white to yellow-brown. The most common is that it affects one or more six-year-old molars (first definitive molars), sometimes in combination with involvement of the definitive incisors. So if we see a stain of these characteristics on an incisor, it is most likely that a molar is also affected. Enamel is more porous, so these are teeth that can fracture easily and are very sensitive to cavities. Many times the child complains of pain to changes in temperature. It is very important to detect it as soon as possible so that the pediatric dentist can treat it.

Do not forget to take your little ones to their periodic dental check-ups, it will be the best way to detect and effectively treat these situations.

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