Causes of Tooth Discoloration
There are a few ways in which your teeth can become stained or discolored. Your teeth can be discolored either on their surface or on the inside of the tooth. It’s important to recognize which kind of tooth discoloration you’re experiencing so that you can properly solve the problem and obtain whiter teeth. Getting a teeth whitening might be your best option for a bright smile.
Outer Surface of Teeth
Extrinsic stains, or stains that appear on the outer surface of your teeth, are affecting your tooth’s enamel. These surface stains are easy to prevent and usually have simple solutions to correct and lighten them. Extrinsic stains are usually caused by poor care of oral health. Not properly brushing or flossing twice a day can cause a build-up of hard yellowish plaque and enamel. At regular dental check-ups, your dentist will scrape off and remove any unwanted plaque and enamel build-up, preventing yellow stains on your teeth. So not visiting the dentist at least twice a year can lead to a yellowing or general discoloration of your teeth.
Inner Structure of Teeth
Intrinsic discoloration, or the discoloration of the inner structure of your teeth, can also be causing you to not have a perfectly white smile. This type of discoloration could leave your teeth looking yellow or grey. Intrinsic discoloration is usually caused by something more serious than just drinking too much coffee, it’s something that’s causing the inside of your teeth, the “dentin” to discolor. Because of this, intrinsic discoloration is much harder to remove than extrinsic.
Common causes that can damage the insides of your teeth include having excess fluoride contact, certain dental procedures, even taking certain medications, or going through chemotherapy or radiation treatment. People who have an extreme level of contact with fluoride on their teeth may also experience intrinsic discoloration. Fluoride is good for promoting stronger teeth in smaller amounts, but in amounts that are too high, it can greatly harm the strength and color of your teeth. In some places, tap water can have excess amounts of fluoride in it, so drinking this water over a period of time can harm your teeth from the inside. Certain dental procedures such as silver cavity fillings can discolor your teeth as well. When a dental patient receives a silver cavity filling, it could make that tooth look grey from the inside out. This isn’t true all of the time, as some people’s teeth are just naturally thicker, but if you can you should try to get white fillings to prevent any unwanted discoloration.
Other Causes of Tooth Discoloration
Whether the discoloration is intrinsic or extrinsic, you may see that your teeth aren’t white simply because of your genetics or age. That’s right, genetics can play a role in how white your teeth are. Some people are born with naturally thicker enamel, thus leading them to have stronger, white teeth. Other people are born with thinner enamel, which can show off the inner dentin of the tooth which is naturally yellow. No matter what, over time as we age, our enamel starts to thin, which as mentioned can cause our teeth to appear yellow in color.
Preventing Stained Teeth
Implementing certain changes to your lifestyle can greatly prevent and decrease the look of stains on your teeth. Especially regarding the extrinsic or outer stains, there are many ways to help your teeth look whiter. Think of it in this way: anything that you eat or drink that can stain your clothes can also stain your teeth. Especially think in terms of dark drinks, such as coffee and cola, and highly pigmented foods, like fruits. Over time, consuming high quantities of foods and drinks like these could lead to discoloration in your teeth.
There are a few ways to prevent unwanted stains or discoloration of your teeth by slightly altering your lifestyle to promote better oral health. The first way is to try and avoid eating or drinking dark and high pigments foods and drinks. Another way is to immediately brush your teeth after consumption. If brushing your teeth is a ready and viable option for you, even rinsing your mouth out with water after consumption can greatly reduce the risk of stain build-up or teeth yellowing over time.
Dental Treatments to Remove Tooth Stains
The best and most effective ways to remove teeth stains or yellowing are with professional dental treatments. There are two main procedures at your dental office that help promote a brighter and whiter smile. One is with stain removal techniques that whiten extrinsic discoloration and another is with teeth whitening which brightens the tooth intrinsically.
At a dental office, stain removal can be done during or at the end of a regular routine check-up. After the dentist scrapes off any plaque and bad enamel build-up on the surface of your teeth, see if they can take the extra step and do some stain removal.
Procedures at the dental office that white teeth from the inside have become very popular. These methods use chemicals, like hydrogen peroxide, to actually change the color of your teeth. There are usually two types of whitening procedures that offices can offer you, and Lawrence Dental Studio offers both. One procedure involves using effective and approved at-home whitening trays. The other method is with in-office deep bleaching. This method combines an office whitening procedure with at-home bleach trays to get you the brightest smile possible. Depending on how stained your teeth are and how white you’d like your teeth to be, your dentist can help you decide which method is best for you.
Dental Office in Lawrence, KS
At Lawrence Dental Studio, we offer cosmetic dental procedures including teeth whitening. If you’re not happy with the color of your teeth, come in to see us and we can help get the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today to set an appointment!