tooth discoloration

What To Know About Tooth Discoloration

August 31, 2023

What color do your teeth look when you are in the mirror? Your teeth may be stained with darker pigments from eating and drinking food or beverages.

You may feel self-conscious about the discoloration on your teeth. If your teeth have a yellow hue, discoloration, or stains, the majority of the time, it is preventable and fixable. Your dentist can provide you with the best options based on your circumstances.

Below we will discuss tooth discoloration, the factors that cause it, and what can be done to help bring your teeth back to a shade of pearly white.

Tooth Discoloration

When a tooth begins to look less bright and white with a yellowish hue, that is called tooth discoloration. Some people may even develop darker or white spots on their teeth, indicating tooth decay or excessive fluoride exposure.

Tooth discoloration along the gum line can indicate early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues and is generally an indication of tartar or plaque buildup.

Dental plaque forms when bacteria in the mouth combine with proteins and food byproducts. Plaque can harden into tartar which is quite common for adults. Dental plaque may easily be lessened or removed with dental treatments or eating habit changes. At the same time, tartar is more challenging to remove and needs to be done by a dental professional. To keep plaque and tartar from building up on your teeth, having regular cleanings with your dentist is essential.

Tooth Discoloration Causes

Various factors can cause your teeth to become discolored or stained, including the following:

  • Food and drinks such as coffee, sodas, tea, red wine, chocolate, red sauce, and starchy foods like potatoes and pasta commonly cause tooth discoloration.
  • Smoking and tobacco users generally have more toothless coloration than non-smokers.
  • Poor dental hygiene can also cause a significant buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth consistently, especially after consuming pigmented foods and drinks, is essential to keeping your bright and white smile. If it’s impossible to floss or brush after, at least rent your mouth by swishing water for a few seconds.
  • Aging along with wear and tear can also cause the enamel on your teeth to slowly become worn away, which exposes the dentin making your teeth more vulnerable to decay and damage.
  • Certain medications, such as doxycycline and text tetracycline, may cause discoloration in teeth even when given to children. This is especially true for children under eight since it can also affect enamel formation. Other medications such as antihistamines like Benadryl, antihypertensive, and antipsychotic drugs may also lead to tooth discoloration.
  • Certain mouthwashes and rinses that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride May lead to tooth discoloration.
  • Environmental factors can aid in discoloration, especially when teeth are forming. For example, exposure to high fluoride levels in water, toothpaste, and other rinses can lead to fluorosis, which may cause mild to severe tooth discoloration.
  • Genetics can play a role in tooth discoloration as some people have naturally brighter and thicker enamel why others are prone to tooth decay and discoloration. Depending on your family’s history and genetics, you may need to implement extra preventative measures to protect your teeth and maintain your oral health.

As you can see, there are various reasons your teeth may be discolored, and it can also be a combination of different factors.

Treatments for Tooth Discoloration

Depending on the level of staining and discoloration, there are various treatment methods that you can try to whiten and brighten your teeth. Cosmetic dental restoration procedures such as porcelain veneers may be a good option for teeth that cannot be whitened.

You can also talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatments, usually offered in the office, to help speed up and enhance teeth whitening. Over-the-counter products can help whiten teeth; however, professional whitening treatments work significantly better and last much longer.

Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration

If your tooth discoloration and staining are due to lifestyle, some simple changes can help to prevent and reduce tooth discoloration, such as:

  • Regular brushing and flossing
  • Choosing the right toothpaste
  • Drinking water, especially after eating or drinking foods and beverages with darker pigments
  • Proper nutrition
  • Using a straw when we drink beverages such as coffee or red wine
  • Stopping smoking and tobacco use
  • Getting regular dental check-ups and cleanings

For A Whiter, Brighter, Beautiful Smile, Carrie Muzny DDS In The Woodlands Area

At Carrie Muzny DDS, our team of highly acclaimed dentists offers professional teeth whitening, preventative and restorative dentistry, surgical procedures such as implants and extractions, veneers, and complete family dentistry.

We treat all of our patients with kindness and compassion. Everyone should be able to have a smile they feel proud of, and we will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan to ensure you maintain excellent oral health and have a beautiful smile.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or consultation and to get the brighter wider smile of your dreams!

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