Saint Louis Cosmetic Dentist Explains Dental Decay and Discoloration

Written by Dr. Grayem on Feb 7, 2012

When patients experience dental disease, they often notice dental discoloration as a first sign of infection. Previously white dental enamel can become dark brown or black as bacteria breach the dental enamel and proceed to infect the layers of dentin and dental pulp below. Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists educate our patients about the progression of dental decay, so that they can do their best to avoid dental discoloration and long-term cosmetic problems.


Dental enamel is the hard, white outer covering of the tooth. For the most part, the enamel is what many patients care about for aesthetic reasons. Bright, white dental enamel can make you appear younger, vibrant, and healthy. When a tooth is first infected with a cavity, you may notice a dark spot or streak on the tooth. As the infection moves through the enamel to the dentin and then finally the dental pulp, more and more of the tooth can appear dark and less vibrant.


Unfortunately, these cosmetic problems wont just disappear on their own. Once your tooth is compromised and infected, a professional dentist must treat the cavity. The good news is that modern dentists can use natural-looking tooth-colored fillings to treat teeth, so that fillings are practically invisible to the naked eye after treatment.


Additionally, once the infection is eliminated, your natural enamel may be receptive to professional teeth whitening treatments, which can lighten discolored areas. Patients with persistent, stubborn stains may choose to use cosmetic veneers to resurface the appearance of teeth.


No matter what your cosmetic decision, the first step to reclaiming your stunningly white smile is adequate dental care that effectively treats your dental decay and infection. Once your teeth are healthy and structurally sound, our Saint Louis cosmetic dental office can help you enjoy a brilliant, stain-free smile again!