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What Causes Black Staining On Teeth?

 

Black teeth staining can have a number of appearances and causes. However sometimes there are certain bacteria in the mouth that can cause tooth discolouration and teeth staining.

 

Usually staining on teeth are caused due to poor oral hygiene, the consumption of herbal teas, coffee, red wine, dark coloured food such as curries and smoking.  However, the appearance and signs of chromogenic bacterial staining is more distinctive, where the stain looks to be a deeper black discoloration, which usually accumulates near the gum margins of the teeth, and into rough surfaces on the teeth.

 

Chromogenic Bacterial Tooth Staining

 

The bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide which reacts with iron in the saliva to form a bacterial plaque that is usually black or has black discoloration to it.  It has been noticed that this type of staining tends to return rapidly even after a clean, but the speed of its return is usually dependent on the diet, oral hygiene habits of the patient and the roughness of the patient’s teeth.

 

It is also noticed that a few family members will have the same type of staining, indicating that the bacteria is transferable, through sharing of food or water bottles, etc.

 

There is not a lot of current research done on Chromogenic bacteria and its treatment options. We do not know where it exactly comes from, its etiology and how to prevent it from returning completely. Therefore, until further research is done on its prevention and cure is found, we merely recommend regular cleaning visits and to practice extremely vigilant dental hygiene. This means diligent brushing, flossing, and using anti-bacterial rinsed several times a day.

 

 

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