No one is born with perfectly white teeth. In fact, the exact shade of our teeth is determined by our genetics, and some people’s is naturally a little bit darker. Plus, as we age, the shade of our teeth becomes duller.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from tooth discoloration, a condition that distorts the natural shade of the teeth making them appear yellow, brown, or spotted. Regardless of whether the problem is major or minor, it can be a source of embarrassment and keep people from showing off their smile. Luckily, tooth discoloration is both preventable and treatable. Use this simple guide to keep your teeth looking white and bright.
Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration
Tooth discoloration takes two forms – extrinsic stains, which are on the surface, and intrinsic stains, which move from the inside of the tooth out. Here are a few common causes of both:
- Food and Drink – Beverages like coffee, tea, soda, and red wine can all stain the teeth if consumed regularly over time. Foods like berries and soy sauce can have the same effect.
- Smoking – Smoking is a major cause of tooth discoloration, but any form of tobacco use can contribute to it as well.
- Oral Hygiene – Over the long term, poor oral hygiene will cause tooth discoloration.
- Drugs – Some prescription drugs like tetracycline can cause tooth discoloration if they are taken by children while the teeth are forming.
- Dental Fluorosis – Fluoride is essential for oral hygiene, but if taken in excess it can cause white lines to form on the teeth.
- Trauma – Teeth that are chipped, broken, or not properly capped often darken over time.
Treatments for Tooth Discoloration
There are now a number of effective treatments to erase the evidence of tooth discoloration.
- Prevention – Don’t smoke, be sure to brush and floss daily, and avoid food and drinks that cause discolored teeth.
- Teeth Whitening – There are a variety of teeth whitening techniques with most using a combination of gel and a mouthpiece to remove stains gradually.
- Laser Teeth Whitening – A special gel and an activating laser are used to remove the signs of tooth discoloration in about an hour. This procedure must be performed in a dentist’s office.
- Dental Veneers – Veneers don’t remove the signs of discolored teeth but cover them up permanently. This is an option for patient’s that have found other whitening methods ineffective.
White Teeth are Happy Teeth
Here at the Happy Tooth, we are happy to partner with any patient to help remove the signs of tooth discoloration. We offer a variety of treatment options at all of our locations, as well as the quality dental care you need to keep your teeth white and healthy throughout your lifetime. If you’re ready to refresh your smile, contact us for a consultation.