Stained and discolored teeth are a common problem that affects a large number of Americans. Despite the fact that many people will experience changes in tooth color, the condition is embarrassing and could negatively affect confidence.
Smiling for photographs or enjoying the company of friends or family become more difficult if you are constantly worrying about the condition of your teeth. You may think that others are drawing negative conclusions about your hygiene and oral health because of the obvious discoloration.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
The kinds of staining that appear on the teeth can range in tone from yellowish to dark brown. Tooth stains can be intrinsic, meaning that the discoloration comes from something that has affected the dentin inside the tooth. Otherwise, teeth may be extrinsically stained when something comes into contact with the enamel on the outside of the tooth.
Intrinsic staining is not caused by daily eating and drinking habits. Fluoride contributes to the formation of healthy teeth, and is recommended in small amounts for children. Overexposure to fluoride may cause intrinsic staining. Other medications, such as antibiotics, if consumed in childhood, affect the color of dentin and lead to stained teeth. Experiencing trauma or bleeding to a tooth in your formative years also contributes to intrinsic staining.
Unfortunately, many of the things we routinely eat or drink contribute to extrinsic tooth discoloration. Dark drinks, such as coffee, tea and red wine are common culprits for stained teeth. Smoking tobacco is not only bad for your health, over time it will cause your teeth to develop a distinctive and unattractive yellow hue. Tooth enamel erodes naturally with time, so even with healthy habits in place, teeth may discolor as you age.
How to Improve the Appearance of Stained Teeth
Brushing your teeth regularly – ideally after every meal – can greatly improve the appearance of stained teeth. If it is not practical to brush immediately after eating, sugar-free chewing gum or strong mints are a good alternative for freshening breath. You should also consider avoiding problem foods and drinks, such as switching from red wine to white.
If you are struggling to remove embarrassing tooth stains, contact Just Brush My Teeth today. We provide a whole-mouth approach to cleaning and restoring natural whiteness to teeth in Marietta, Georgia.