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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


My three-year-old has brown spots on his front teeth. What caused this discoloration?
    
Brown spots on teeth occur for a variety of reasons. The most common, of course are cavities. Knowing the location of the spots is very helpful. Many times spots on the front four top teeth are due to prolonged bottle use, resulting in milk bottle caries. Other times these spots can be due to trauma ( a fall, for example) while the teeth were developing. Even an infection or nutritional problem with the mother while pregnant with the baby can cause tooth discoloration.

Judging from the spot’s location on the individual tooth, we can tell when during gestation or what time after birth the problem occurred. If the incident happened very early, the brown spot would be at the chewing edge of the tooth. A late injury would show up near the gum line.

Regardless, a brown spot is not normal and should be examined by a dentist to rule out a cavity before it progresses and becomes painful.

If you can write back with more details describing the spots, we may be able to be more specific. Hope we can help you.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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