Teeth Discolorization : Common Causes & Remedies
Tooth staining is usually a common problem. Everybody’s teeth stain gradually over time. If dental enamel became more porous it attracts stains from all the food and drinks you consume. And those who regularly smoke and drink red wine or coffee for them the stain become deeper.
Other than eating and smoking habit there are some other factors which can cause and aggravate tooth staining, including age, starting color, translucency and thinness, drugs and chemicals, grinding, and trauma.
Co-relation Between Ageing & Teeth Staining:
A direct correlation exists between tooth color and age. Usually, the older the teeth the more the teeth are stained due to accumulation and general wear and tear. Teenagers will likely experience immediate, drastic results from whitening because their teeth have not accumulated a large build up of stains. In the twenties when the teeth begin to show a yellow cast, teeth-whitening may require slightly more effort. Teeth in their forties begin to change hues from yellow to brown, indicating more maintenance in teeth-whitening efforts. By the fifties, the teeth have absorbed a host of stubborn stains which can prove difficult, but not impossible, to remove.
The starting color of teeth varies from person to person and ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey and becomes more pronounced as we age. Yellow-brown is generally more responsive to bleaching efforts than green-gray.
The genetic traits of translucency and thinness become more apparent over time. While all teeth show some translucency, those that are opaque and thick have an advantage: they appear lighter in color, show more sparkle and are more responsive to bleaching. However, teeth that are thinner and more transparent (most apparent in the front teeth) may not be able to be bleached as the teeth lack the necessary pigment. According to cosmetic dentists, transparency is the only condition that cannot be corrected by any form of teeth whitening.
Some Causes of Teeth Discoloration:
- Eating habits are a contributing factor in tooth staining. The habitual consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges, and other deeply-colored beverages and foods causes considerable staining over the years. Enamel erosion is caused, in part, by consuming citrus fruits, vinegar, and other acidic items. When combined, these two factors cause the surface of the tooth to become more transparent and more of the yellow colored dentin shows through.
- Smoking habits can alter the color of teeth. Smoking has been proven to leave brownish deposits which slowly soak into the tooth structure and cause intrinsic discoloration.
- Drugs and chemicals can have an adverse effect on tooth color. The antibiotic tetracycline when used during a child\’s formative years, produces dark grey or brown ribbon stains which are extremely difficult to remove. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes a condition known as fluorosis which is associated with areas of mottling.
- Grinding your teeth can affect tooth color. Most frequently caused by stress, teeth grinding can add to micro-cracking in the teeth and can cause the biting edges to darken.
Prevention & Treatment:
Coffee, tea, colas, smoke, acidic juices, certain medications, and highly pigmented foods play havoc on the pearly whites. Tooth staining can be prevented with proper oral hygiene. Treatment like Sealing or bonding may be used to protect teeth from wear and tear. But these procedures are permanent or semi-permanent.
There are certain natural ways for teeth whitening which can be followed at home. Not all tooth discolorations respond to whitening treatments, however.
There also remain many over-the-counter products can eliminate tooth discoloration. A person will usually see results after 1–2 weeks, though there is no guarantee.
Some of the over the counter product includes:
- whitening mouthwashes and rinses containing hydrogen peroxide
- whitening toothpastes containing sodium hypochlorite
- whitening strips containing carbamide peroxide
- tray whitening systems containing carbamide peroxide bleaching gel
There are several natural remedies and teeth whitening products available. However, the treatment provided by a dentist is much stronger compared to any natural home remedies. But to prevent your teeth from staining follow a consistent oral health routine which includes twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing, a twice-yearly visit to a dentist near you, restraining from smoking and limiting your consumption of teeth-staining beverages.