Dental Care

Teeth Discoloration: What does brown spots on a tooth mean?

These dark discolorations on your teeth are noticeable, they can either appear brown or yellowish discoloration of teeth. Plus, they can detract from your smile’s appearance.

In this article, we are going to reveal everything about teeth’ dark discoloration, from figuring out what is causing them, and how to prevent them from getting worse. how to fix them? how can you make them go away?

Common Causes For Brown Spots on teeth

Tobacco Products

One of the most common reasons someone will have brown spots on their teeth is due to use tobacco products. If you’re a smoker. cigar. cigarettes. and even smokeless tobacco can cause heavy brown staining on teeth.

The good news is that it can often be polished off with a professional cleaning at the dentist, the bad news is that over time they tend to soak deeper into your enamel requiring professional whitening treatments to get rid of them.

Food And Drinks

Coffee, tea, red wine, soda, sports drinks, dark berries, and also pasta sauce. If it can stain a white t-shirt it can also stain your teeth, these types of food are the worst for your teeth. So eating or drinking them from time to time won’t cause severe brown stains but if consumed regularly daily they can start to build up and get worse.

The best advice is to limit your exposure to teeth-staining foods and when you do indulge in tooth-staining food be sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water after. Also for stain-causing drinks when possible drink through a straw.

tartar buildup

Another reason for brown spots also related to staining is tartar buildup. Calcified plaque, tartar, or calculus, it’s that rocky build-up that forms on your teeth when you don’t brush or floss thoroughly enough. It’s also porous making it a magnet for stain and discoloration.

It’s normal for most of us to get a little tartar between dental cleanings, but if you can see the buildup you’re probably past due for a checkup or you might even have gum disease. So be sure to have routine professional cleanings with your dental hygienist and talk to your dental hygienist if you are concerned that your tartar builds up too fast. They can give you additional home care recommendations and maybe even have you consider coming in more frequently for cleanings.

Poor Or lap swimming

Both competitive and recreational swimmers sometimes see brown stains on their teeth when they’re spending more time at the pool. It’s thought that the chlorine or other makeup of the pool water causes the stain.

So if this is you or your child be sure to rinse your mouth out with tap water after swimming and brush your teeth right when you get home. In addition, professional cleanings at the dentist can also help to polish off the swimming pool stain.

vitamins and supplements

If you or your child are taking multivitamins, you might notice something called blackline stains start to gradually build up. This type of stain doesn’t affect everyone but a small percentage of people are prone to it.

In this case, if the stain is superficial it can easily be polished off during your dental cleaning.

fluorosis and enamel hypoplasia

Lastly, severe fluorosis and enamel hypoplasia can also cause brown spots on your teeth. It’s generally related to the teeth having too much fluoride or not enough of the right vitamins and minerals.

Oftentimes they are pitted and soft in a sense maybe even it’s more of an enamel decalcification that leads to tooth decay. So the brown spots may have started as fluorosis or decalcification but now they are cavities.

The best treatment is to see your dentist. Sometimes fillings or bondings can be placed in those areas and other times crowns or veneers are the better options. It just depends on the individual situation.


In summary, brown spots on your teeth are caused by staining, whether it’s from tobacco, drinks like coffee and wine, tartar buildup, swimming in a pool daily, or certain vitamins that you’re taking. And for all of those visiting your dental office for a professional cleaning will help remove those brown spots.

However, the brown spots are due to tooth decay or cavities which often start as fluorosis or enamel hypoplasia. The difference is that they are pitted and not smooth and they need to be treated for more than just cosmetic reasons.

If you have tooth decay that cavity needs to be removed and filled by your dentist for your teeth to be happy and healthy.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *