Tooth Discoloration – Its Types and Solutions
Tooth discoloration can cause embarrassment. If you have unsightly tooth stains, they can keep you from smiling. But what causes your tooth to discolor?
The answer is not as simple as you want it to be. As we age, our teeth become duller. But this depends on your genetic makeup. Some people were born with slightly brighter tooth shade while others do not. Nevertheless, how you take care of your teeth will determine their color.
Tooth discoloration can appear yellow, brown or gray. Some patients suffer from overall discoloration while others have dark spots on some of their teeth.
Extrinsic and Intrinsic
There two basic types of stains – extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic is known to cause surface stain. It is usually caused by outside elements affecting your tooth’s surface.
Drinking coffee, tea, soda or red wine on a regular basis can cause tooth stains.
For foods, berries and curries are just two of the foods that can cause tooth discoloration.
Hot and cold foods and drinks can also affect the color of your teeth as the heat and cold can open or close the pores in your teeth. As a result, staining agents can easily attack your teeth with greater force.
Another extrinsic type of staining is smoking. Even if you only chew tobacco, the habit can still ruin your teeth’s color.
And of course, having bad oral habits can negatively affect the health and color of your teeth. Unfortunately, if you apply inefficient dental care, tooth discoloration is just a minor side effect.
Intrinsic staining, on the other hand, cannot be easily prevented. Some drugs can cause tooth discoloration. This is especially true with children’s teeth that are still developing. Antibiotics are a great example that can cause discoloration. Other medicines will include anti-hypertension, anti-psychotic and anti-histamine drugs.
Did you know that some mouthwashes can discolor your teeth?
Yes, they can. They leave something behind your teeth that causes discoloration in your pearly whites.
Too much fluoride can also lead to tooth discoloration. Although fluoride is useful in preventing tooth decay, too much of it can cause white spots or lines on your teeth.
Trauma may also discolor your teeth, especially if it causes enamel damage or dead nerve. This is one of the reasons dentists recommend getting your chipped teeth resolved by having dental crowns or dental veneers.
Dental fillings, too, can cause tooth discoloration, especially if you underwent large amalgam tooth filling.
How to Treat It?
Tooth discoloration can be prevented. As we have discussed earlier, some foods and drinks can contribute to yellowing or darkening of teeth. Thus, as much as possible, avoid consuming them on a regular basis.
Since smoking will not only cause lung disease, you should stop smoking or chewing tobacco if you do not want to be embarrassed from having discolored teeth. Also, you should consider having excellent oral hygiene.
Extrinsic staining can be resolved through regular professional dental cleaning.
Power bleaching is also an ideal solution to resolve tooth discoloration. It is a kind of technique that requires application of bleaching gel. Your dentist will apply the gel onto your teeth and the results appear within 45 minutes.
Dental veneers are usually recommended if teeth whitening will not work. Dental veneers are cemented onto discolored teeth to cover the discoloration. They are made of porcelain that is ideal for broken teeth or chipped teeth.
Should You Call a Professional?
If you are not happy with your discolored teeth, you should talk to our cosmetic dentist to discuss about the best options to resolve this dental issue. Although Over-The-Counter tooth discoloration solutions are safe and effective, it is still necessary that you consult your dentist about the right solution for your case.
For extrinsic stains, the prognosis is usually excellent. However, intrinsic stains can be more difficult to remove. Sometimes, they take a few months before you see excellent results.
You do not want to spend significant amount of money just to fix discolored teeth. Thus, you should start practicing proper oral hygiene. That is, brush your teeth after every meal. Do not forget to floss. And see your dentist every six months.
Should you need solutions for your tooth discoloration, talk to our office team today.