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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6016
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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My 8 year olds teeth have turned yellow due to some

Resolved Question:

My 8 year old''s teeth have turned yellow due to some medications he has been taking for years. Is they anything i can use to whiten them?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 9 years ago.

Could you provide more information? First, please indicate the medication you suspect has caused the discoloration, and secondly, please specify at what age your son began taking the medication, whether the medication has been used continuously without interruption, and whether he is still taking that medication.

This information will allow me to provide a more accurate answer to your question.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Mark Bornfeld DDS's Post: my son was born with kidney failure and begin dialysis at 8 months old. He was on a liquid iron that i was told could cause discoloration to his teeth. I don't remember the name of it. But after 2 years he was put on another. Right now he takes: predisone, cellcept, rapamune, iron tablet (over the counter), zantac, cozzar, and phospa. He was transplated when he was 4 years old (Oct 03).
Expert:  replied 9 years ago.

Iron supplements are known to cause dark brown or black extrinsic staining of teeth, but this isn't anything that a good professional cleaning won't eliminate. Meticulous oral hygiene will limit the degree to which this staining recurs.

It is uncertain, however, just how much intrinsic discoloration is present on the teeth. None of the medications are known to influence tooth enamel formation; however, your son's health history might well have impaired the quality of the enamel on his teeth. The enamel on the permanent front teeth form roughly between the ages of two and five years of age, and any metabolic disturbance during that time might cause a range of enamel defects-- discoloration, opacity, pitting, or other surface imperfections. These can be more difficult to manage.

Depending on the severity and type of enamel defects present, your son may need some type of restorative care-- perhaps porcelain veneers or even crowns. However, this type of treatment would not be appropriate until your son reached the age of about 18 years.

I generally discourage the use of bleach-type whitening systems for young children, especially if there is defective tooth enamel, because of the tendency to provoke tooth sensitivity. Any benefit is temporary, so the necessity to repeat the whitening treatment poses significant opportunity to cause discomfort, and over time, the potential for further damage to the enamel.

I do believe that it would be worthwhile to discuss this issue with your son's dentist, who can provide guidance while being better informed as to the nature of your son's cosmetic liabilities. Although I resist the urge to foist cosmetic dental considerations on young children, I well realize how self-conscious children can be in this regard, and how cruel a child's peers can be at times. An empathetic dentist can provide suggestions for navigating the possibilities to address the cosmetic issues, while minimizing the potential for further damage to the teeth.

Hope this helps...
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