It’s easy to worry that the discolored tooth will fall out, but relax – it is highly unlikely that the tooth will just fall out on its own! However, if one tooth looks different from the rest, it’s certainly time to see your dentist.
Why does tooth discoloration happen to only one tooth?
Without a dental exam, it’s hard to know why one of your teeth is more discolored than others. There are two possible explanations:
- The tooth is stained.
- The tooth is dead.
The good news is that there are effective treatments available in either case.
Treating a Stained Tooth
Sometimes, a tooth may appear more discolored than the surrounding teeth because it has become stained. Tooth staining can occur due to the foods and drinks we consume and certain medications we take. If one tooth is slightly discolored, it may simply mean the tooth has a stain.
We offer in-office and at-home whitening and stain treatments to help your tooth match the rest of your smile.
Treating a Dead Tooth
When a tooth is “dead,” it means the nerve inside the tooth has died. A dead tooth often has a darkened, gray or black appearance. It’s important to receive treatment for the dead tooth because the space inside the tooth where the nerve used to be can become infected easily.
- The best treatment for a dead tooth will depend on the appearance of the tooth, as well as how long the tooth has been dead.
- In some cases, if the tooth has only been dead a short amount of time, it can be saved with a root canal. This procedure removes the dead nerve and bacteria before they can cause a serious, painful infection, and a cap is placed over the tooth to provide strength and make the tooth more natural-looking.
- In other cases, the tooth may be pulled. However, we aim to keep as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, so this is a decision that is never made lightly.
In short, having a discolored tooth is no reason to panic – but it IS a reason to go see your dentist. If you are concerned about your smile for any reason, why wait? Let us help you find a good solution that will improve your smile. Contact either of our offices (Columbus or Canal Winchester) and schedule an appointment.