Why is one tooth yellow? Here are 2 main reasons and their solutions

Why is one tooth more yellow than the rest? A single tooth that is more yellow or gray or darker in color will create a mismatch in your smile. It can even be more uncomfortable than general discoloration. Having such disharmony in your tooth color is something you want to get rid of.

But how can you get rid of that single yellow tooth? Plus, how does such a situation happens? In this article, we will examine the things that can cause a single discolored tooth and the treatment methods.

Why is one tooth yellow and not the others?

There are mainly two reasons why is one tooth yellow and the others are not. The reason is either you have a dead tooth or a single tooth is more stained than others. But you don’t have to worry. By understanding the causes well, an appropriate treatment method can be developed.

Dead tooth and stained tooth are different from each other and require different solutions. Their development is also different from each other. Now we’re going to take a look at what they are.

You might have a dead tooth

The tooth may seem extremely hard and concrete but they are actually living things just like all other organs. They are formed from three layers. The layer of enamel is the outer layer of the tooth which is the hardest layer. It gives your tooth a white appearance. Under that, it lies the dentin which contains nerve endings. And after that, it comes the core of your tooth; the pulp. This is the softest tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.

These tissues can die when they get damaged and the blood supply is cut off. Infections, tooth decay, tooth injury, and traumas caused by outer impacts can cause a dead tooth. Aggressive teeth-grinding can also damage your teeth and cause this kind of trauma. If dentin dies, the outer tissues which are supplied by dentin also die. They can’t reach nutrients just as minerals and vitamins they need to renew themselves. This situation can cause a darker appearance.

In a situation like this, a dead tooth can fall off itself. However, a dead tooth that doesn’t fall invites decay and infections. Decay can endanger the other tissues surrounding your tooth like bones and gums and it also causes high pain. So a dead tooth is a serious oral health issue that requires professional medical treatment.

You might be facing tooth discoloration

What if your dentin works well or at least is still alive but still one of your teeth is darker than the others? This means you probably have tooth discoloration. On a daily basis, we consume lots of things by using our teeth.

They can easily leave stains if you don’t follow a proper dental hygiene routine. By a proper oral hygiene routine, we mean brushing teeth twice a day and rinsing with salty warm water. These can clear your mouth and remove food leftovers. Food leftovers are the biggest enemy of your teeth. They are the nutrients of the bacteria living on teeth.

These bacteria can leave tooth stains and even may cause tooth decay and gum disease. They form plaque and tartar on your teeth. Acids in plaque and tartar slowly erode the enamel. An eroded weak, enamel can become more transparent. This can slowly reveals more yellowish dentin, the layer under the enamel.  There are a lot of foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. We can count them as the followings:

  • Dark and dense liquids like coffee and wine, soy sauce
  • Carbonated drinks like cola, sodas, and sports drinks
  • Tomato sauces
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sticky candies, sugar
  • Food coloring
  • Juices contain high sugar
  • The problem may be the medicines you use
  • And also some medicines can cause tooth discoloration as side-effects
  • Smoking is also an absolute stainer. 

What if I have tooth discoloration after root canal treatment

It’s a rare situation but sometimes patients can experience it after root canal treatment. This is usually due to damage to the vessels feeding the dentin or inflamed pulp during root canal treatment.

Damaged veins cannot carry the substances it needs to the dentin, and the dentin layer slowly dies. Thus, it turns into a dead tooth. In a situation like this, the method called internal bleaching, dentists can save the appearance of your tooth. Sometimes also the filling material can be the cause. Some materials turn into a darker color when they get oxidized. Because of the translucent structure of the tooth, your tooth looks darker.

So what are the methods to treat this singular tooth?

We started by asking the “why is one tooth yellow?” question and we mentioned the common reasons. But can we get our teeth fixed under both conditions? What are the methods to treat such discoloration?

This will vary depending on the cause of the situation. While bleaching methods may be sufficient for staining, if you have a problem such as a dead tooth, different methods will be required for this. We will now examine different treatments for these different conditions.

How to treat one yellow discolored tooth?

Having a white and bright smile is not a dream for anyone. You don’t need to experience despair because of tooth discoloration. Today, it is possible to correct most situations that cause this. While you can apply many whitening methods, there are also some cosmetic prostheses that you can have when these are not enough.

Home whitening methods

There are many whitening methods you can apply by yourself at home. The most effective ones are based on whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These are the chemical agents that should be used carefully. So the densities of these products that you can apply by yourself are low. Because they can be dangerous for your teeth in the condition of overuse. They may erode your teeth and they even cause more discoloration. So you have to use them in the correct amounts.

In-office whitening

They are also applied with the same whitening agents with home whitening products. But mixtures can be more intense because a specialist dentist can apply them much more effectively and carefully than you can do at home.

If the dentists notice that your teeth will be damaged, they will take immediate action. The greater the density of the agent, the more effective it will be.

You can read our article on teeth whitening if you’re interested in this solution.

How to treat a singular dead tooth?

Sounds pretty bad, right? At the very least, it seems like a pretty irreversible situation. Fortunately, it’s not like that. There are some treatments that can be done to a dead tooth to save your appearance and dental health. Let’s take a look at these too.

Root canal treatment and filling

If most of the tooth is intact, your dentist may decide to perform root canal therapy. In this treatment, dentists remove the soft tissues in a dead tooth root that form the pulp part of your tooth and fill this area with filling materials. So, they remove the dead tissue and prevent any infection from progressing easily in these areas. 

Tooth extraction

If your tooth has been severely damaged, the best thing to do is a tooth extraction. So, you can get rid of other discomforts that a dead tooth can cause, as well as a bad appearance. However, tooth extraction isn’t an absolute treatment. It may be sufficient for preventing the problems that can occur because of a dead tooth. But an absent tooth is also dangerous for your oral health. It can cause bone loss and bone loss also is a serious situation. 

Internal bleaching

Sometimes, an intervention from outside of the tooth can not be sufficient. There are internal whitening applications as well as methods applied from outside. They require a root canal treatment as a base.

Because there should be an emptied place in teeth for the internal bleaching. Here dentist applies whitening crystals, then fills the top with a temporary filling. At your next appointment, the dentist will remove this temporary filling and whitening material and make a permanent filling. So you can regain your pearly white teeth with whitening that works from the inside out. This treatment can apply also to a dead tooth.

Cosmetic prostheses and implants

Cosmetic prostheses are prostheses such as veneers and crowns. These can be used for both dead teeth and stained teeth. You can benefit from them when whitening methods are not sufficient or when you need to get rid of a dead tooth and fill its place with a dental prosthesis.

Your dentist can shave a thin layer of your tooth enamel and place a veneer there or shaves all surfaces and places a crown. Even if your tooth is completely removed, they can replace it with an implant. These are made of durable and hard-to-stain materials. They allow you to have a white smile. Dentists will also offer color options that are compatible with the natural color of your teeth.

If the condition of your tooth is too bad, he can remove it completely and replace it with an implant. An implant is not a prosthesis which is preferred only for cosmetic reasons. It is a health necessity to get an implant if you have a missing tooth. Thus, you will be protected from possible infection and tissue loss. You can also protect your bright smile.

For an in-depth look, you can check our dedicated article on the veneers solution or the dental crowns solution 

References:

He L, Zhong J, Gong Q, Kim SG, Zeichner SJ, Xiang L, Ye L, Zhou X, Zheng J, Liu Y, Guan C, Cheng B, Ling J, Mao JJ. Treatment of Necrotic Teeth by Apical Revascularization: Meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 24;7(1):13941. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14412-x. PMID: 29066844; PMCID: PMC5655000.

Carey CM. Tooth whitening: what we now know. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2014 Jun;14 Suppl:70-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Feb 13. PMID: 24929591; PMCID: PMC4058574.

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