Tooth Discoloration/Stained teeth

Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes in the tooth material. Dentists divide discoloration into three main categories:

Teeth Whitening 

This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained by coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic discoloration

This is when the inner structure of the tooth darkens or gets a yellow tint. Causes include excessive exposure to fluoride during early childhood, the maternal use of tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy and the use of tetracycline antibiotics in children 8 years old or younger.

Age-related discoloration

This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. In addition to stains caused by foods or smoking, the dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Chips or other injuries to a tooth can also cause discoloration, especially when the pulp has been damaged.

In rare cases, children with a condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta are born with gray, amber or purple discolorations.

Reasons why teeth become darker or become stained

  • Tobacco use.
  • Certain foods like coffee, tea, and red wine.
  • Acidic soft drinks slowly demineralise the white enamel of teeth, making them more yellow with time.
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Certain diseases can affect the enamel and the dentin of the teeth.
  • Certain medications that children take during the formation of their adult teeth, such as tetracycline or doxycycline. These same medications can discolour the child's teeth if they are taken while the mother is pregnant.
  • Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can discolour teeth.
  • Grey amalgam fillings can stain a restored tooth.
  • With age, the enamel of teeth becomes thinner, revealing the yellowish color of dentin.
  • Heredity, where some people have a thinner layer of enamel than others do.
  • Excessive ingestion of fluoride (fluorosis).
  • Dental traumas that can disturb the formation of children's teeth, or cause the necrosis of the adult tooth, making it greyer.

Why should I treat the teeth discoloration?

Is it that important to have a set of white teeth? Why cannot we just live our lives contented with gray (or yellow) and crooked teeth? What is the big deal with having a great white smile? Is it not enough that we are able to eat just fine and then we can stop worrying about the color of our teeth. Below you will find some of the top reasons why it is a must to have white teeth.

White teeth mean healthy teeth

First and foremost, the importance of having white teeth has to do with one’s health. White teeth mean healthy teeth while discoloration is a sign of plaque and tartar buildup on the enamel of the teeth. These buildups can lead to teeth problems such as holes in the teeth, cavities, gingivitis, bad breath, gum diseases such as periodontitis, and many other teeth ailments.

White teeth can make you look and feel good

Another reason why white teeth are essential is for one’s physical appearance. As we all know, our smile is one the first things that people notice about us. It would be very difficult to look and feel good if you have discolored or stained teeth. In fact, even if you look like a Hollywood star or a beauty queen, if your teeth are unsightly, most people will be turned off. Having white teeth can contribute to a more pleasant physical appearance.

White teeth can boost your confidence

Relevant to the previous reason mentioned above, having white teeth can also have an incredible effect on one’s self-esteem. It is easier to be confident when you know you look good and feel good about yourself.

White teeth can make you look more credible

Especially if your job has to do with dealing and meeting with people, like if you are a salesperson, consultant, marriage counselor, executive officer in your company, financial adviser, or inspirational speaker, having yellow teeth can have a negative effect in your image and credibility. People would be thinking, “How can I rely on this person, he or she cannot even take care of his own teeth?!”

What Treatment Options Are Available to Whiten Teeth?

Treatment options to whiten teeth can vary depending on the cause of the discoloration and may include.

  • Using proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques
  • Avoidance of the foods and beverages that cause stains
  • Bondings
  • Veneers
  • Using over-the-counter whitening agents
  • In-home whitening agents purchased from your dentist
  • In-office whitening procedures
  • Advanced Laser Teeth Whiteniong Techniques
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