If your teeth are far from the pearly white color you wish they were, you might wonder what has caused them to stain. Several factors can cause darkened and discolored teeth, but fortunately, Dr. Evanson offers a few treatment options to brighten your smile.
Reasons for Darkened and Discolored Teeth
- Drinks: The most common drinks that stain teeth include coffee, tea, soda, wine, and acidic fruit juice.
- Tobacco products: Smoking and chewing tobacco stains teeth. Choose now to quit smoking, not just for your oral health, but your overall well-being.
- Poor oral hygiene: Forgetting to brush and floss gives stain-producing substances from tobacco and certain beverages enough time to discolor your teeth. Rinsing with mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride could also result in staining.
- Excessive fluoride: In small doses, fluoride is an important tooth protector, but in high doses, it can cause your teeth to discolor. Elevated exposure may come from high fluoride content in the local water supply or excessive use of fluoride toothpaste, rinses, and supplements.
- Disease: Some diseases affect either the tooth enamel (the hard outer surface of your teeth) or the dentin (the material under the enamel), resulting in tooth discoloration. Some medical treatments also affect tooth color, including chemotherapy and radiation of the head and neck.
- Medications: Tetracycline and doxycycline are antibiotics that can discolor children’s developing teeth. Certain antihistamines, antihypertensive drugs, and antipsychotic medications can also stain teeth.
- Dental restoration materials: Metal amalgam fillings obviously darken the tooth they fill, but they can even cast a gray color across the rest of your teeth, especially if the filling contains silver sulfide.
- Trauma: Getting hit in the mouth may disturb enamel formation in children’s developing teeth or disrupt blood flow to a particular tooth, causing it to “die” and turn gray.
- Old age: The outer layer of enamel naturally becomes worn away as you age, revealing the yellow color of dentin beneath.
- Genetics: If you’re born with naturally dull or thin enamel, your teeth may simply lack the bright shade of white that others can achieve.
Treatment Options for Darkened and Discolored Teeth
- Avoid habits that cause teeth to darken and discolor: Minimize how often you consume drinks known to darken and discolor teeth. When do you indulge in your favorite beverage, drink through a straw and brush your teeth immediately afterward to help prevent staining.
- Adopt better brushing and flossing techniques: No matter what you eat and drink, make sure to brush and floss every day to remove plaque and stains. Electric toothbrushes are much better at preventing darkened and discolored teeth than manual toothbrushes. If you’re not sure about proper brushing and flossing techniques, Dr. Evanson can clarify at your next dentist appointment.
- Read mouthwash labels carefully: If you rinse with mouthwash, look for a brand that doesn’t contain stain-causing chemicals.
- Teeth whitening: You can always whiten your teeth with store-bought kits, but dentist-supervised treatment provides faster, more noticeable results. Dr. Evanson provides two teeth whitening options: undergo a 45-minute in-office treatment or take home a kit with a higher concentration of whitening agent than over-the-counter teeth whiteners. Both options provide excellent results.
- Porcelain veneers: This cosmetic dentistry option available at Evanson DDS is essentially a shell that covers badly stained teeth. Each custom veneer permanently restores a natural-looking shape and color you’ve always wanted your teeth to have.
Schedule a Cosmetic Dentistry Appointment with Dr. Evanson
Tired of feeling self-conscious every time you smile? Cosmetic dentistry and teeth whitening can make a huge difference. Let Dr. Evanson improve your smile as she has done for countless patients over the past 20+ years.Leave a reply →