Have you noticed that your teeth are not as white as they used to be?
Having a healthy, white smile is probably on every person’s wishlist, and it’s easier to obtain than you might think.
Our teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons, whether it is due to genetics or lifestyle choices. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause yourself, so it’s best to consult your dentist and discuss treatment options that will help you get your teeth back to the pearly white state they were in.
Understanding the potential causes will help you and your dentist come up with a treatment plan that’s most suitable for you.
Types of Tooth Discoloration
Tooth discoloration can occur as a result of surface stains, changes in the material of the tooth, or a combination of both.
Dental professionals have identified three main categories for tooth discoloration: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related.
An extrinsic tooth stain occurs when the outer layer of the enamel becomes stained because of certain beverages. This type of tooth stain is relatively easy to get rid of.
An intrinsic tooth stain occurs below the surface of the tooth. Stain-causing particles wor through the exterior of the tooth and accumulate in the enamel. The dentin, which is the internal structure of the tooth, darkens and turns yellow.
This type of stain is caused by exposure to too much fluoride and certain medication and is more difficult to treat.
Age-related stains combine the results of both extrinsic and intrinsic teeth stains. Over time, the dentin naturally turns yellow, and the enamel that covers it becomes thinner, showcasing the yellow tooth. The addition of an existing extrinsic stain will cause the discoloration to be more pronounced.
Common Causes of Teeth Discoloration
There are a variety of substances that can cause tooth discoloration, many of them being a part of your lifestyle.
Some medications, including antihistamines, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs can cause tooth discoloration as well. Medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, and head and neck radiation are also contributing factors.
Certain food and beverages, such as coffee, tea, wine, cherries, and beets are highly acidic, which causes your teeth to stain. Although these beverages are delicious, it’s best to cut down on their consumption.
The most obvious cause of teeth discoloration is poor dental hygiene. Failing to brush and floss your teeth daily causes bacteria and food particles to cling to your teeth and cause them to stain.
Just like with anything else concerning your body, genetics play a role in how white your teeth can be. Everyone is born with a different level of brightness and thickness of their enamel, which has a huge impact on the color of their teeth.
Not only does chewing and smoking tobacco increase the risk of gum disease, but it also majorly advances the yellowing of your teeth.
How Dentists Can Help
Treatment options for discolored teeth vary depending on the cause of discoloration.
The most simple treatment options are using specific brush and floss techniques, avoiding beverages and foods that cause staining, and over-the-counter whitening kits.
You can also get your teeth whitened at the dentists’ office, although this may take a couple of visits to get the results you desire. If whitening agents will not work for your teeth, the option of dental bonding is available. A dentist will fuse a specific material to the stained area of your teeth that will change their color or shape.
The last resort will be to get veneers made. A thin shell of porcelain is placed over the entire front of your tooth to change its color or shape.
Teeth Whitening in Ottawa
Having strong and healthy white teeth is all about maintaining healthy habits. A few tweaks in your lifestyle may be all you have to do to get that perfect pearly white smile.
That being said, make sure to be smart when it comes to saving your smile. Many at-home whitening agents can be harmful to your teeth if not prescribed by your dentist.
Our team of skilled dentists at Costello Family Dentistry is here to guide and assist you on your journey to getting whiter teeth. We are dedicated to providing our patients with the best results possible.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our teeth whitening services and book your appointment today.