Brown Spots On Teeth: 14 Causes, Easy Treatment & Prevention

Brown spots on teeth can be embarrassing because they can be easily noticed by anyone. Well, these brown spots on teeth are common and can come in different colors from yellowish brown to dark brown. These spots may come in different shapes and sizes as well. In some, the shape may be irregular and blotchy whirl in others, it may appear as brown lines across the teeth. 

The teeth is one of the places people tend to look at , they are very important so proper oral hygiene is advised at all times. Good oral hygiene will not only save you from these brown spots but bad breath and decay. There are so many causes of brown spots on the teeth, we will explain the causes, how to treat and prevent them as well.


Brown Spots On Teeth:
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1. Food And Drinks

Certain foods and drinks we take are made with artificial colors that can stain the teeth or leave brown patches on them. Also, food and drinks that have acids and chemicals are capable of doing same. Some of these foods and drinks are cola, red wine, coffee, pomegranates, blackberries, tea and blueberries. If the stains on the teeth are not washed off immediately, they may cause spots that would not be easily washed off, and may have a permanent effect.

2. Nicotine And Tobacco Products

This is common among smokers and users of tobacco products. These nicotine products have particles that stick to the teeth enamel. With time, these particles accumulate and form stains. Some tobacco products are cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars and chewing tobacco.

3. Tartar

There are so many bacteria in the mouth that mixes with food particles and saliva to form plaques (a sticky film). The best way to take care of plaque is by brushing and flossing at least once a day, when this is not done, the plaque gets hardened and forms tartar. Tartar can leave yellow or brown spots along the gum line.

4. Tooth Decay

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is one of the most common cause of brown spots on the teeth. Eating sugary substances will cause the bacteria in the mouth to mix with the remains of these sugary substances and form acids and plaques. Without proper oral hygiene, these plaques wear off the teeth enamel till it becomes weak, then the bacteria attacks the inner layers of the teeth. One of the signs of tooth decay is brown spots on the teeth. 

5. Fluorosis

Fluoride is needed by the teeth for protection but too much of this can lead to dental fluorosis. This dental condition can affect both children and adults. When the fluorosis is still mild, there will be white or chalky stains on the teeth but severe conditions can leave brown spots on the teeth enamel.

6. Enamel Hypoplasia

There are some factors that can cause the teeth to have less enamel that they need, this condition is known as enamel hypoplasia. Some factors that can lead to this are genetic, environment, toxin, lack or shortage of vitamins, malnutrition and illness during pregnancy. Enamel hypoplasia can cause the teeth to have rough texture with brown spots.

7. Root Canal

Extreme tooth decay can lead to the death of the pulp and root canal, the dead root gets dark and the color can be shown in the teeth enamel as brown lines or spots.

8. Trauma

Trauma and injury can occur in the mouth and this can have effect on the teeth. One of the effects is damage to the nerves. Trauma to the teeth nerves can cause the teeth to have brown spots or even change to brown completely.

9. Old Dental Work

Dental works like white, silver or metal fillings can get old with time. When these fillings are old, they can cause stains over the teeth. White fillings can also get stained by substances, this can cause brown patches on the teeth.

10. Certain Mouthwash

Some mouthwash like chlorhexidine is used to rinse the mouth against gum diseases. However, one of the side effects of this prescription mouthwash is that it can cause brown spots on teeth.

11. Aging

One of the characteristics of old age is the browning of the teeth. Some lifestyle can cause the teeth to get brown as we age and some of them are foods, drinks, tobacco, thinner enamel and darkened dentin. 

12. Medications

The National Library of Medicine in 2012 carried out a study which showed that certain antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline can cause stain on teeth. This can occur in children whose mothers took these antibiotics while pregnant. Another drug that can cause brown teeth is, it is used to treat permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus.

13. Celiac Disease

One of the symptoms of celiac disease is dental enamel defects like brown stains on the teeth. Having brown spots on teeth is common in people with celiac disease especially children.

14. Genetics

Just like different people have different features, the color of the teeth can differ as well. Some are born with white teeth, some may have slightly yellow teeth while others have light brown spots on teeth. Genetic disorder can also cause the teeth to have brown spots.


Braces are fixed to the teeth to correct misalignment but one side effects of these devices is that they might leave the teeth discolored. This is because it is difficult to properly clean the teeth when wearing braces and this can cause plaques to accumulate behind the braces’ wire and around the brackets, which are fixed to the teeth. If these plaques are not cleansed, they turn to tartar and this can leave brown spots on teeth after braces are removed.


Brown spots on teeth can be a sign that your teeth is having cavities and that you need a dentist to fix the issue before it becomes worse. A cavity can show early signs with a brown, black or gray spot on your tooth. Most times, spots and stains can be a typically sign that your teeth have cavities.


Brown spots is not only limited to adults, babies and infants can experience this color stains on their teeth. Even though infant teeth are temporary, it is somehow embarrassing to see or notice your baby has stains on his or her teeth. It may feel like you do not take good care of your kid’s dental health. 

There are causes of brown spots on teeth of infant and some of them are:

  • Dental fluorosis
  • Tooth decay and cavity
  • Medications
  • Calcium deposits
  • Genetics
  • Weak enamel


Treating brown spots on teeth depends on the cause, finding the root cause is the first step to treatment. You should practice good oral hygiene, this will help treat stains caused by foods and drinks, nicotine tartar and teeth decay. Sealing or bonding the teeth can help to stop the teeth enamel from wearing off.

At-home whitening treatments can be used to clean off stains from the teeth. There are so many whitening treatments you can use at home. Whitening strips, whitening toothpaste and whitening kits are examples of products you can use. You just have to follow the instructions from the manufacturers on the label.

You can go for whitening treatment by your dentist. This can be more effective than using at-home whitening products. Some of the professional whitening treatments are porcelain veneers, power bleaching, chairside whitening, composite bonding and dental prophylaxis, which involves dental cleaning and preventive treatment (

Rinse your mouth with diluted hydrogen peroxide solution at least once a day. Remember to rinse your mouth with water after the solution. Deep cleaning can be done by your dentist to scrape off tartar from the teeth.


  • Brush your teeth every day for 2 minutes at least once. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a gentle brush.
  • Floss your teeth once a day
  • After eating sugary foods and drinks, rinse your mouth with water immediately. You can also brush if it is possible for you.
  • Rinse your mouth with a fluoride-based mouthwash.
  • Children below 6 years should not brush with fluoride-based. 
  • Visit your dentist for dental cleaning and check-up at least once every 3 months.
  • Quit smoking or taking nicotine products
  • Use a straw when taking beverages and other sugary drinks.
  • Avoid eating too much of sugary substances
  • Reduce your intake of foods and drinks with chemicals or acids that can stain the teeth.
  • Eat foods that are rich in calcium, they are good for the teeth enamel.


Brown spots on teeth is just a stain, having them is not a death sentence or end of the world. They are caused by certain lifestyles, medications, teeth problems, diseases, genetic and old age. Treating these spots can be done at home or in a dental hospital depending on the severity. However, preventing the brown spots on teeth are better than treating them so you can consider the measures listed above to help you.

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