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Smiles For Tomorrow

Course Number: 4

Discolored Teeth

Intrinsic stain of tooth enamel may result from ingestion of excessive amounts of fluoride or prolonged systemic tetracycline administration during critical periods of tooth development. Fluoride is a compound that contains fluorine, a natural element. Fluorosis is associated with excessive fluoride ingestion during enamel formation. It is commonly seen as a mild discoloration in the presentation of a white lacy intrinsic stain and is permanent.

CE4 - Discolored Teeth

Mild Fluorosis

Discolored Teeth - Figure 2

Moderate Fluorosis

ce4 - Content - Discolored Teeth - Figure 3

Severe Fluorosis

Discoloration does not occur from limited tetracycline use (such as from a 7-10 day course of the drug). Crown formation of permanent teeth is usually complete at age 8, after which tetracycline use will not result in discoloration of enamel.

ce4 - Content - Discolored Teeth - Figure 4

Mild Tetracycline Stain

ce4 - Content - Discolored Teeth - Figure 5

Moderate Tetracycline Stain


Severe Tetracycline Stain


Severe Tetracycline Stain

Extrinsic stain is usually an accumulation of materials on the enamel surface from foods, medications, or microorganisms. Iron drops cause a black to grey discoloration that is easily removed by the dental professional. Other metal sulfides may also give a similar appearance.


Stain from Iron Drops