Taking the time to care for your teeth is beneficial throughout your life. Daily brushing and flossing become routine and regular check-ups with your dentist keep your smile the best it can be.
Occasionally, though, you may notice a small spot on your molar teeth or elsewhere and be perplexed. What exactly is it, and how can you get rid of it?
Why Do I Have a Black Spot on My Molar Teeth?
The first thing to do after finding a black dot on a molar is not to panic. It can result from a number of things, and most likely, it isn’t permanent. With that being said, causes vary and range from minor to severe. Depending on which it is, treatment will vary as well.
Causes for the black spot on your molar teeth may be any of the following:
- Surface Staining: Staining of the tooth’s surface can occur with the frequent consumption of specific food or drinks. These may include coffee, tea, red wine, or various soft drinks. Nicotine is another common cause of staining. These so-called extrinsic stains occur when any of these penetrate the tooth’s enamel, especially in a groove or pit within the tooth’s anatomy.
- Tartar Build-up: Tartar, a hard substance, can build up on your teeth, particularly at the gumline, leading to spotting.
- Cavity, or tooth decay: Perhaps the most common cause for a black spot on your molar teeth is tooth decay, or a cavity. A cavity forms when the build-up of plaque, which contains acids, is allowed to erode the surface enamel of a tooth. A hole in the tooth’s protective layer sometimes shows as a black dot. The tooth’s internal dentin, which is darker, may be exposed.
- Excessive Fluoride: The excessive intake of fluoride during the development of the teeth between the ages of 1-3 years can lead to dark dots on molar teeth. The effects of this are unknown until the teeth erupt into the mouth. This is known as Fluorosis and is caused by high levels of fluoride in drinking water, particularly from untreated and unregulated sources.
- Tooth Injury: Various types of tooth injuries can occur, including bruising, internal fractures, and infections.
- Medications: Certain medications, including certain antibiotics, can cause discoloration of teeth when taken during tooth development.
- Medical Condition: If you have certain medical conditions, these dots can develop. With Celiac disease, tooth enamel fails to develop properly, and spots often appear.
- Aging: As aging occurs, teeth enamel starts to deteriorate, exposing the yellowish-brown dentin below.
The best way to determine a cause is to seek the help of a qualified dentist. Not only will the cause be identified, but you can also discover how to get rid of the spot.
How Can I Get Rid of a Black Spot on my Molar Teeth?
There are several ways to get rid of a small black spot on your molar teeth. Make an initial appointment with your dentist first to identify any underlying dental health issues. Then consider the following methods for removing it.
- Dental Procedures: If spots are the result of tooth decay or cavities or from damage due to tooth injury, you’ll need to undergo certain dental procedures. Procedures such as fillings, root canals, and even crowns may be required, depending upon the severity. For tartar build-up, procedures like a dental prophylaxis or periodontal therapy will remove the substance and can help with stains.
- Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Aids: When the black spots are the result of staining, and not cavities or other injuries to the teeth, teeth whitening methods can help. Treat shallow stains with various over-the-counter whitening treatments such as a toothpaste containing mild abrasives (e.g., baking soda) and peroxide, or whitening strips.
- Professional Teeth Whitening: Stains that penetrate the top layer or tooth’s surface will require stronger measures. This means a dentist-recommended and prescribed whitening process. Application may be in-office in a take-home method. Smile Hilliard offers Free Whitening For Life for adult patients. Call us to learn more!
- Dental Bonding: A restorative procedure, dental bonding involves using a composite resin and molding it to your tooth. This is followed up with polishing to a shade to match your natural tooth color. While durable, bonding doesn’t last as long as porcelain veneers.
- Porcelain Veneers: Veneers can best be described as shells to adhere to the fronts of teeth to improve their look. Veneers not only change the color of the teeth, but also shape, alignment, and size. These bond permanently to your teeth.
How Can I Avoid More Black Dots on My Teeth?
Once you’ve gotten rid of the black spot on your teeth, you can take measures to lower the risk of getting more later on. Continue brushing with a recommended toothpaste and flossing twice a day.
Drink water after meals. Lower the number of stain-causing beverages and foods, and always brush after consuming each one. Another important action to take is to schedule bi-annual dentist appointments for cleanings and examinations.
Keeping your teeth healthy and maintaining a bright smile helps build confidence. A dark spot on your teeth can stand out and make you self-conscious and even worried about its underlying causes. Take action now and rid yourself of these unsightly spots.
Ready to Schedule Your Appointment with Smile Hilliard?
Dental issues can often develop without symptoms and regular check-ups and cleanings can help you get ahead of them. If you notice black spots on your molar teeth or any others, contact our office today and schedule an appointment.
Our compassionate dentists here at Smile Hilliard will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and determine the cause of the spot. If it requires a dental procedure, such as a filling or a more intensive treatment, we will explain it all to you first.
If the spot is a stain that requires a cosmetic fix, like veneers or bonding, we can help you choose whichever option is best for your circumstances.
Stay diligent about your dental health by making a plan to address any issues you currently have and scheduling your bi-annual check-ups ahead of time.