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Brown spots on the teeth are primarily a cosmetic problem. They can also have serious causes.
Where do the spots appear
Brown spots on the teeth are mostly found in tight spaces, on the gum line, on the edge of fillings and on the inside of the upper and lower front teeth.
Development of discoloration
External discoloration on the teeth is caused by frequent consumption of red wine, coffee, black tea, juices, garlic, spices and nicotine. Some mouthwashes contain substances that can also lead to brown spots.
Caries can develop from harmless spots
Brown spots on the teeth are not always harmless. Because these can also mean tooth decay. At first there are only small discolorations, later sensitivity to cold and heat is added - even sweets can sometimes hurt. In the further course, pain and possibly bleeding gums occur - the areas become soft.
It should be clarified whether it is harmless discoloration or caries. In the case of brown spots that do not want to be softened by regular brushing, a visit to the dentist is necessary - preferably once too often than too rarely.
Treatment of tooth decay
Fortunately, tooth decay can be detected and treated early on, provided that the dentist is regularly visited. Before there is a hole, this disease can be stopped without drilling. That is why regular checks are essential.
In the early stages, the dental plaque is removed using professional methods, an antibacterial mouthwash is recommended and the diet is also examined. This should definitely be low in sugar. A fluoride varnish may be applied to the teeth. Drilling is only necessary when a hole has already been made.
Professional tooth cleaning
Even with good oral hygiene, bacteria can accumulate in places that are not accessible with normal brushing and brown spots can form. Professional tooth cleaning helps here. Even stubborn deposits, also called tartar, can be removed with such a special cleaning. And this is important because tartar, if not removed, can lead to tooth and gum disease.
Hard deposits are removed with hand instruments, soft deposits with ultrasound and discolorations (such as brown spots) with powder jet devices. The teeth are then polished and a fluoride-containing varnish is applied. Fear of it is unfounded - the whole procedure may be a little uncomfortable in some places, but it doesn't hurt.
Protection against discoloration
In order to prevent brown spots and other tooth discoloration from occurring, adequate oral hygiene combined with regular fluoride intake is essential.
The right time is very important when brushing your teeth. Sugar is generally not healthy - everyone knows that. However, sugar is metabolized to acid in the body and acid is also produced in the mouth by the bacteria present there, which can then attack the teeth. So that the enamel is not attacked, you should wait half an hour to an hour before brushing your teeth after eating. During this time, saliva forms, which can neutralize the acid. Sugar-free chewing gum helps to support the process. This is also advisable when eating fruit. However, not everyone can wait that long in the morning. The rule here is: First rinse your mouth well with clear water and then brush carefully with a soft toothbrush. Many dentists recommend fluoride toothpastes because they are said to cause remineralization.
Unfortunately, not all places can be reached with the toothbrush. Interdental brushes and / or dental floss help here. Cleaning the interdental spaces should be part of every tooth brushing - especially in the evening before going to bed. In addition, the application with an electric oral irrigator also helps.
Disinfecting the toothbrush with grapefruit seed extract is recommended. Two drops of it are mixed with a little water. The toothbrush remains in it for about five to ten minutes. This is best done once or twice a week.
Tooth discoloration in children
Brown stains on the teeth or other tooth discoloration can unfortunately occur even in young children. This is possible, for example, as part of a tetracycline treatment. Even if the mother-to-be receives tetracyclines in the second half of pregnancy, this can have a negative effect on small children's teeth. A very rare disease, congenital erythropoietic porphyria is an inheritable metabolic disorder that affects blood formation. As a result of this disease, reddish-brown tooth stains can form.
Most of the home remedies and tips out there to remove brown spots from your teeth should be viewed rather critically. These include baking soda, baking powder, lemon juice, turmeric or hydrogen peroxide. All of these “simple” remedies, especially if used regularly, can damage tooth enamel and even cause inflammation of the gums.
Coconut oil for oil pulling
Coconut oil is a simple and, above all, healthy home remedy that has a positive effect on the oral flora and can also alleviate or even remove slight discoloration, such as brown spots on the teeth. Coconut oil works against bleeding gums, is anti-inflammatory, increases defense, antibacterial and ensures a pleasant mouthfeel.
Regularity is important here. For this, the tongue is cleaned every morning before brushing the teeth with a tongue scraper. Then the oil pulling starts with the coconut oil. For this, a teaspoon or tablespoon full of oil is placed in the mouth, pressed through the teeth, sucked and the mouth rinsed with it - for up to 20 minutes. Under no circumstances should the oil be swallowed afterwards, as this has absorbed all the toxins from the mouth, which should be spit out. The best way to spit is in a paper towel and not in the drain.
Only then are teeth brushed conventionally - ideally with a toothpaste based on many natural ingredients, for example an Ayurvedic toothpaste.
A conventional mouthwash should not be used, as most damage the mouth flora with regular use. Rinsing with a mouthwash containing xylitol (birch sugar) is recommended. A xylith solution supports the remineralization of the teeth and ensures a good mouth climate.
Diet for white teeth
Proper nutrition supports the whiteness of our teeth. Apples, carrots, green beans, cauliflower and celery ensure healthy teeth whitening and also protect the gums. Hard cheese can counteract the formation of dental plaque. The pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on our gums. Citrus fruits are also recommended. They not only strengthen our immune system, they also stimulate saliva production. After eating them, a break of at least half an hour to an hour before brushing your teeth should be observed so that the acids cannot attack the enamel. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Peter Gängler et al .: Conservative Dentistry and Periodontology, Thieme Verlag, 3rd edition, 2010
- Jochen Jackowski, Hajo Peters, Frank Hölzle: Dental surgery, Springer Verlag, 1st edition, 2017
- Thomas Weber: Memorix Zahnmedizin, Thieme Verlag, 5th edition, 2017