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Stubborn Black Spots: Extrinsic Discoloration of Baby Teeth

Some dietary habits and oral hygienic habits can cause extrinsic discoloration of the teeth, which rarely occur among infants. However, there are still some children troubled by unseemly tooth discoloration seeking medical advice.
Lin Hui-qin, attending doctor of the Dentistry Department in the Zhongxing Branch of Taipei City Hospital, points out that the causes of tooth decay, growth defect of the tooth itself, intrinsic discoloration, trauma, and so on, must be eliminated one by one in case of color change of the primary dentition, which leads to tooth discoloration.
If there is any black spot on the baby tooth surface similar to the discoloration of adult teeth, it may be caused by food in the diet which could stain easily or by food with the ingredients which can be utilized by chromogenic bacteria. If the food on the tooth surface is not removed timely, it may stain dental plaque indirectly or be metabolized by the special chromogenic bacteria in the mouth and adhere to the tooth surface, so that the external discoloration of teeth will occur. The discoloration usually appears near the gums or adjacent surface of the teeth. They are numerous stubborn black spots which cannot be removed by brushing the teeth and may affect the children’s appearance.
How to prevent and handle such discoloration? First of all, it is important to form appropriate eating and cleaning habits, such as using toothpaste to brush the teeth twice or thrice a day. Ask the dentists to assist in removing discoloration that has already formed. The tooth stains caused by chromogenic bacteria may be improved as the children grow and get permanent teeth. Some studies even show that children with black stains on the teeth have a much lower incidence rate of decayed teeth.