Tooth discoloration can be caused by a variety of things, such as food and drink, medications, the natural aging process, and injury. The type and severity of discoloration from trauma depends upon the injury itself, how old the tooth is, and how quickly a dentist examined the tooth.
Tooth Trauma Types
Teeth can experience trauma both before and after they form. Most cases of permanent teeth trauma is caused by injuries to the predecessor baby teeth. Baby teeth trauma can disrupt the formation of the permanent teeth enamel below the gums, creating teeth with darker appearances.
The most common cause of post-formation trauma is bleeding within the tooth due to physical injuries (such as falling, an object hitting your mouth, etc.). Tooth bleeding can damage the pulp and discolor the tooth, and if the pulp damage is too great, then a root canal is required.
Occasionally, orthodontics can traumatize teeth and cause some discoloration, but in these cases, it rarely causes severe damage to the pulp of the tooth.
Tooth Trauma Treatment
A traumatized tooth will only fully recover if it is immediately and effectively treated. If you ever injure your tooth, no matter how slight you think it is, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Ideally, dentists should treat tooth trauma within thirty minutes, especially if the tooth has been chipped or knocked out completely. The sooner your dentist sees your injury, your risk of tooth discoloration (or severity of discoloration) will diminish.
Tooth injuries are very common, so any general or family dentist should be able to see you quickly and treat your injury efficiently and effectively. Even if you already have discolored teeth due to trauma, talk to your dentist and find out what can be done to repair your tooth and return your healthy smile.