Tetracycline is a broad form of antibiotic, used to treat a wide variety of infections. Unfortunately, one of tetracycline’s potential side effects is to stain teeth. Even if you are prescribed this antibiotic, it is possible to avoid tooth stains, as our Placerville dentists will explain.
Preventing Tetracycline Stains
Tetracycline can cause a dingy discoloration of the tooth enamel, often near the gumline. Tetracycline stains the teeth by attaching to calcium ions in the tooth, especially during growth and development. Therefore, children’s teeth are most likely to be affected by tetracycline. Because of this, it’s recommended that pregnant women in the second and third trimesters and children under the age of nine should not use tetracycline. If the prescription of this antibiotic is absolutely necessary, doses of less than 3 grams per day should be used, and the course of treatment must be as short as possible.
Adults and Minocycline
Minocycline, a derivative of tetracycline, is often used for treating severe cases of acne. As if such patients weren’t self-conscious enough, tooth staining from the use of minocycline is a potential side effect. This staining usually appears as blueish or grayish spots in the middle of the affected teeth. Minocycline stays in our systems for a long time after treatment and may be detected in the saliva, so when minocycline-laced saliva touches the teeth, it can stain the enamel when exposed to oxygen and oral bacteria. It is possible to limit tooth staining by using less than 100 milligrams a day.
Eliminating Stains from Drug Side Effects
If your teeth are discolored for whatever reason, know that tooth stains can be stubborn and resist at-home treatments. The Placerville Dental Group makes it possible to significantly lighten stains through in-office tooth whitening procedures. Many patients choose this method for whiter teeth and a brighter smile. Other options include covering the stains with veneers or crowns. Whatever your choice, if you experience the potential antibiotic side effect of tooth stains, our Placerville dentists are ready to show you how bright your smile can be! Call us at 530-295-8000, use our website, or visit us at 699 Main Street, Suite B to schedule a tooth whitening appointment.