Tooth Discoloration Causes And Treatments

Excerpt: Unattractive tooth stains can be embarrassing and stop you from smiling. So what causes tooth discoloration and what you...

What Causes Tooth Stains?

Unattractive tooth stains can be embarrassing and stop you from smiling. So what causes tooth discoloration and what you can do to get rid of it?

The answer is not simple. No one’s teeth are completely white and to a certain limit, our teeth do become dull due to several factors. But everyone is born with a little different tooth shade, with some whiter than others. Irrespective of how you treat your teeth will hugely decide their color.

Drinks/foods

Wines, colas, tea, coffee, and some fruits and vegetables like potatoes and apples can stain your teeth.

Tobacco consumption

Chewing tobacco or smoking can stain teeth

Poor dental hygiene

Irregular brushing and flossing to clean plaque and stain-producing stuff like tobacco and coffee can lead to discolored teeth.

Health problems

A number of diseases that affects dentin and enamel can cause tooth discoloration. Their treatment can also affect the color of your teeth. For example, chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can cause teeth discoloration. Additionally, some infections in pregnant moms can lead to discolored teeth in the infant by affecting enamel development.

Medicine

The antibiotics doxycycline and tetracycline are known to affect the color of teeth of children whose teeth are still developing. Mouthwashes and rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine can also discolor your teeth. Drugs for high blood pressure, antipsychotic drugs, and antihistamines are also known to cause teeth discoloration.

Dental substances

Some of the substances used in dentistry, like amalgam restorations, especially materials that contain silver sulfide can create a gray-black color to teeth.

Aging: Aging affects the outer layer of enamel on your teeth, thus it reveals the natural yellow color of dentin.

Genetics

Some people naturally have thicker or brighter enamel as compared to others.

Environment

Too much fluoride either from over usage or environmental sources can cause teeth discoloration.

Trauma: Like injury from an accident can affect enamel formation in young children whose teeth are still developing. This can also lead to discolored teeth in the case of adults.

Tooth Stain Treatments

Treatment options to get whiter teeth can differ depending on the reason for the discoloration and may include:
  • Follow proper and regular tooth brushing and flossing regimen
  • Avoid beverages and food that cause tooth discoloration
  • Veneers
  • Bondings
  • In-home whitening agents recommended by your dentist
  • Use over-the-counter whitening agents
  • In-office whitening treatments
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