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From Fredericksburg, Texas, USA:

Our son maintains a good dental regime, brushing and flossing daily at home and regular cleaning at the dentist every six months. He is 10 and has had one cavity, but his gums are in good shape. Our concern is that he has very yellow teeth that are somewhat bumpy on the ends of the two front teeth. My husband and I both have naturally white and smooth teeth. I understand that excess sugar can carry over into saliva causing problems. Is it possible it has contributed to this discoloration? What can we do about it safely?


The "bumps" might very well be mammelons which are part of the tooth edge and seen only on the upper and lower permanent centrals and laterals. These eventually wear off over time and are not anything to worry about. The yellow color can be the result of several things. First, if it is a baby tooth, then the enamel is one-third as thick as adult enamel and the layer beneath the enamel, dentin is yellow in color. Also, a common problem is food coloring from foods that these kids eat or drink. Generally, a good cleaning by a dental office might remove some of this stain and there are other processes, for older patients, that eventually can bleach the stain from the teeth. The other less possible cause is that the stain is part of the enamel and might not be able to be removed. There are other reasons for this, but primarily antibiotics, especially tetracycline, taken during the development of the tooth could be a culprit.


Original posting 11 Oct 2006
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