What Causes Teeth Discoloration In Babies?


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Once you bring your baby home, there is a lot you have to juggle around. Checking your baby’s dental hygiene is probably not on your list yet.

Seeing your baby’s first few teeth is one of the most awaited moments for you as a mother. But of late, have you noticed any discoloration in those little milk teeth of your baby’s? Are you worried your baby’s teeth look stained and not white?

If you feel your answers to the above are in the affirmative, this article will help soothe your worries.

How Will I Understand If My Baby Teeth Discolored?

Your baby’s teeth are supposed to be white in color. In some cases, your baby’s teeth may also be white to yellowish white color. Both the conditions are normal. When your baby’s teeth are of any other color than these two, it may be a case of teeth discoloration. This discoloration can change the color of your baby’s entire tooth. It can also appear as spots on the tooth or as lines in the enamel of the tooth.

What Causes Discoloration Of Baby Teeth?

There are a number of reasons that can cause discoloration in your baby’s teeth. Here are some of the main reasons behind discolored baby teeth:

1. Illness During Infancy Or During Early Childhood:

Illness or conditions such as high fever at the time of teething, incorrect nutrition and any kind of infection at the time of teething, Down syndrome or congenital syphilis can lead to discoloration in your baby’s teeth.

[ Read: Baby Teeth Care ]

2. Imbalance In The Tooth Enamel:

Sometimes, a pregnant or nursing mother is administered tetracycline for certain medical reasons. In some cases, it is also administered to infants or very young babies. This can lead to hypoplasia, which is a condition where the enamel of your baby’s teeth is irregular or insufficient.

3. Poor Quality Of Tooth Enamel:

The enamel of your baby’s tooth may not be of a good quality. This condition is known as hypocalcification. This could be due to various factors like genetic reasons, due to extensive deposits of plaque or due to over sucking on citrus fruits.

4. Discoloration In The Tooth Enamel:

A condition known as amelogenesis imperfect can lead to your baby’s tooth enamel being discolored or thin. This is mostly an inherited birth defect(1).

5. Non Calcification Of Tooth Enamel And Dentin:

Your baby may have experienced a vitamin D deficiency while the teeth are developing. This can cause the enamel of your baby’s teeth and the dentin to not get hardened by mineral deposit. It could result in a condition known as enamel and dentin hypoplasia that can also lead to discoloration in your baby’s teeth(2).

6. Jaundice At The Time Of Birth:

In case your baby developed jaundice at the time or right after birth, it could lead to a greenish tint in the teeth.

7. Too Much Fluoride:

You may have been mixing your baby’s powdered or liquid concentrated formula with water that is fluoridated. This can increase the chance of your baby developing a condition known as enamel fluorosis. In this condition, your baby will have light white marks or streaks on the teeth(3).

8. Injury To Your Baby’s Gums Or Teeth:

An injury to your baby’s gums or teeth can cause something known as dental trauma. This can lead to discoloration in your baby’s teeth and it may have purplish, pinkish or a greyish tint.

9. Medication:

There are certain medications and vitamin supplements that contain iron. Sometimes, these may cause a dark stain on your baby’s teeth(4). Use of drugs like antibiotics (tetracycline) by the mother can cause discoloration in breastfeeding babies.

10. Not Brushing Properly Or Infrequent Brushing:

You may think your baby is still too young to brush, but infrequent or improper brushing can also cause tooth discoloration . Schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist as soon as your baby is a year old(5).

[ Read: How To Brush Baby Teeth]

Discoloration of baby teeth can leave you worried, but it is not something that cannot be treated in time. Remember to instill dental hygiene in your baby from an early age. Shun the practice of letting your baby sleep with the milk bottle. Clean your baby’s gums and teeth daily, even before teething begins. Once those first pearls are out, make a visit to your baby’s dentist.

How have you been taking care of your baby’s teeth? Did you notice your baby teeth discoloration? What did you do about it? Share your tips and experiences here with other moms.

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