Brown Spots on Teeth: What’s Causing Them?

Dental Care in NapaBrown spots on teeth are more than just unsightly. When accompanied with yellowing of teeth, such spots can mean you’re not taking good care of your oral health. The sad thing is, brushing is not enough to remove the brown spots. Only your dentist can polish the tooth or improve its existing color. A dental professional can offer a solution to the common causes of brown spots.


Eating foods high in sugar and starch can create plaque that clings to the tooth surface. When plaque isn’t removed, it hardens into tartar, which is usually in brown color. This substance often appears at the gum line and the tooth surface itself. VanDenburgh Dental notes that brushing alone won’t remove the hardened plaque.


Having brown spots can be a sign of tooth decay. Just like plaque, decay develops from consuming too much starchy and sugary snacks. Plaque attacks the tooth by destroying the enamel and changing its color. The brown may also be caused by the dentin underneath, which is caused by worn enamel and has a naturally darker color.


Excessive fluoride intake is the main cause of fluorosis. When there is too much fluoride in the body, tooth enamel discoloration occurs, particularly in children whose teeth are still forming. Those with mild fluorosis have permanent white streaks or lines on teeth. Those with serious fluorosis, on the other hand, have brown or gray patches ad pits, and irregular tooth surface. This is only a cosmetic problem, unless there is an issue of decay.

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Celiac Disease

Those with celiac disease have poorly developed tooth enamel. This causes the enamel to be translucent or the appearance of white, brown, and yellow spots. Celiac disease also makes the teeth more prone to decay. It is common for those with this condition to choose dental restorations to improve the appearance of their smile.

Dental traumas and certain medical conditions can also cause brown marks on the teeth. Visiting a cosmetic dentist can remove the spots from decay and tartar. Stains and spots from fluorosis and Celiac disease can be covered with restorations like veneers.