Can Microabrasion Correct Trauma-Related Tooth Discoloration?

microabrasionBurke, Fairfax and Fairfax Station, VA

Teeth can become discolored for many reasons.

Let’s take a look at a few:  

  • Age Enamel thins over time, revealing the yellow dentin beneath the pearly white enamel.
  • Defective tooth formation The two most common causes of problems in enamel formation include fluorosis and dental trauma. While fluoride helps form and mineralize teeth, fluorosis can occur when our teeth are exposed to too much fluoride, like if a child is exposed to two or more fluoride sources (e.g. fluorinated water, toothpaste and drops). Too much fluoride can cause tooth defects. Dental trauma can also interrupt the formation of tooth enamel and lead to defects.
  • Extrinsic factors Tobacco use, poor oral hygiene and the foods and beverages we enjoy – such as coffee, dark sodas and red wine – can lead to yellowing or dinginess of the tooth enamel over time.
  • Intrinsic factors A tooth can become discolored from deep inside the structure because of certain medications, diseases, genetic disorders or dental trauma.

Fortunately, our cosmetic dentist in Burke can correct stained or discolored teeth, no matter the cause or depth of discoloration. Today, Dr. Pam Marzban is taking a deep look at tooth stains and answering the question: Can trauma-related tooth discoloration be remedied with microabrasion treatment?

The short answer is: Yes. It just depends on the depth of the stain. But let’s start from the beginning:

Why can a tooth turn grey after dental trauma?

Similar to how skin bruises after sustaining an injury, trauma can cause a tooth to turn pink, grey or black, indicating inadequate blood flow to the tooth. Dental trauma is a leading cause of a grey tooth. A bruised tooth results from irritation and inflammation in the connective tissues supporting the tooth. Symptoms include localized sharp pain, soreness, bleeding gums, redness, sensitivity, and inflammation. Immediately after a dental trauma, our family dentist in Fairfax recommends resting the tooth and using a mouthguard and over-the-counter medications for pain and inflammation.

What are the various treatments for discoloration?

Dr. Marzban has several ways to address tooth discoloration, whether intrinsic or extrinsic.

Let’s look at a few:

  • Professional teeth whitening Our office can whiten and brighten your smile during your lunch break! We also have take-home whitening kits that are far more powerful and effective than anything that can be purchased over the counter. In as little as one application, teeth whitening is highly effective at removing surface stains from tooth enamel.
  • Microabrasion When teeth don’t respond to professional-strength teeth whitening, Dr. Marzban may suggest microabrasion. This involves rubbing the outer layers of tooth enamel with an abrasive compound to reveal the smooth, glassy enamel surface below. The process usually takes an hour or less and is relatively painless since teeth are usually bathed in fluoride gel to reduce sensitivity. Results are permanent.
  • Other whitening treatments If stains are intrinsic, or if microabrasion is causing the tooth’s enamel to thin too much or the tooth becomes too sensitive, Dr. Marzban may recommend using customized restorative treatments that won’t remove stains or discoloration but will cover them. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common treatments we use in our Fairfax Station cosmetic dentist’s office:
  • Cosmetic bonding Bonding is an affordable and convenient way to address multiple aesthetic dental issues at once, including intrinsic discoloration/stains. During bonding, a composite material is brushed over the affected tooth, then shaped, cured and polished to match the surrounding natural teeth.
  • Veneers Porcelain veneers treat the same issues as bonding. Veneers – considered a permanent restorative procedure since a small amount of enamel must be scraped off the natural tooth – are wafer-thin “shells” that Dr. Marzban can adhere to the surface of a tooth to cover imperfections.
  • Dental crowns Teeth that are significantly damaged because of damage, decay or injury may need a dental crown to protect the dentin, nerves and root structure.

Microabrasion for teeth whitening in Burke, Fairfax, and Fairfax Station, Virginia

Microabrasion can be used to tackle stubborn tooth stains, including those that are due to trauma. But in the event a tooth stain is too deep for microabrasion to work successfully, our cosmetic dentist office in the Northern Virginia area near Burke, Fairfax and Fairfax Station can help. Just give us a call at 703-323-8200, and we can assess your individual dental issues and develop a custom treatment plan for you.

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