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What Causes Green Tooth and Other Tooth Discolouration?

Having a great smile is a confidence booster. Having clean white teeth often equals a great smile. Green and stained teeth do not. If you have stain problems, here are some things to know and to do.

Types of teeth stains

Believe it or not, people really can have teeth discolouration, even green teeth. Health issues or lifestyle choices can cause stains.

Extrinsic stains

These are stains that are on the surface of your teeth. They are a result of what goes into your mouth.

  • Red wine, black and green tea, or dark-coloured foods
  • Prescription mouth rinses used to treat gum disease can leave a dark residue on teeth
  • Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco

Your oral hygiene habits will have a big impact on the severity of staining. It’s important to brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily, after meals if possible. Keep up with regular professional dental hygiene appointments. If you want even whiter teeth, talk to your dental professional about whitening treatments.

Intrinsic stains

This type of discolouration comes from the inside of your tooth. These are some of the things that may cause intrinsic stains.

  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline and liquid amoxicillin
  • Trauma to the tooth
  • Fluorosis, which is caused by ingesting too much fluoride during a child’s teeth-forming years
  • Dead tooth, which happens when a tooth becomes injured and can’t repair itself
  • According to Frontiers in Materials, ageing can affect the colour of your teeth
  • Frontiers in Dental Medicine notes that radiation and chemotherapy can cause discoloured teeth

Intrinsic types of stains are often greyish in colour. Neither good oral hygiene nor professional polishing will remove intrinsic stains.

Green tooth

Green tooth is a less common type of intrinsic stain that affects infants. Babies who have hyperbilirubinemia or sepsis-induced liver dysfunction may develop green pigmentation on their baby teeth. According to the University of Edinburgh, this prenatal development type is uncommon. The baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth that are not green.

Teeth and gums that appear green in adults can be caused by a build-up of stains, bacteria and fungi. This is extrinsic and is caused by poor oral care. Improving your daily routine and having professional teeth cleanings can remove these types of green stains.

If you want a great smile, make sure your teeth are as white as they can be. Stains and green teeth are often caused by lifestyle choices and are sometimes due to health issues or medications. Knowing what is causing your enamel discolouration is half the battle. To clean up your smile, improve your oral health routine and talk to your dental professional.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.