Ruling It Out
Before you panic, consider this: Tetracycline teeth stains only affect children whose teeth are still developing. Once teeth mature, tetracycline can safely be used as an antibiotic. So if you're taking tetracycline and you're old enough to read this, you are probably resistant to its oral side effects.
Although the drug is still used today, special measures are taken to prevent tetracycline stains. Due to the complications tetracycline produces, doctors no longer prescribe it to young children or expectant mothers. If you are pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor and dentist so they can treat you accordingly.
Cover It Up
Since they're formed within the teeth, removing tetracycline tooth stains isn't easy. Unlike extrinsic stains caused by food, drinks and smoking, tetracycline stains can't be erased by a professional dental cleaning. Unfortunately, teeth whitening won't greatly affect the appearance of tetracycline stains either.
But there is hope for those who suffer from tetracycline stains. Veneers are used to cover stained teeth in the front of the mouth. During the procedure, the dental veneers are cemented to your teeth, providing a permanent solution to the staining dilemma. If a back tooth appears particularly dark, a dental crown can be used to cap its surface and cover the tooth entirely.
Prevention Is the Best Medicine
Tell your dentist about any medications you're taking in order to avoid drug interactions. A dentist should be able to tell you if drugs are the possible source of your dental ailment, and can work with your doctor to suggest alternative medications that do not affect your oral health. Schedule regular dental visits every six months to discuss medical updates and to search for signs of oral side effects.
If you think you have tetracycline stains, contact a dentist for a consultation. A dentist can help you determine the source of the teeth discoloration, and will offer an appropriate dental treatment plan to reduce or eliminate the appearance of unsightly stains. If you don't have a dentist, we can help you find one!