One of the most common dental problems is tooth discoloration. Nearly every individual suffers from tooth discoloration, at some point of time. Even though it does not have a direct impact on oral health, it can affect an individual, psychologically. After all, who would want discolored teeth, which can impede a smile; a smile that helps connect with other people? There are many reasons, which cause tooth discoloration. Let us look at some of those reasons.
Reasons for Tooth Discoloration
• Food and Drinks: – Certain fruits and vegetables, like apples and potatoes, as well as drinks, like tea, coffee, wines, colas, can stain teeth.
• Inadequate Dental Hygiene: – One of the main causes for tooth discoloration is poor dental hygiene. Not brushing and flossing properly on a regular basis to remove plaque and food particles can cause tooth discoloration.
• Tobacco Consumption: – Chewing and even smoking tobacco can stain your teeth.
• Medications: – Certain medicines are known to discolor teeth when given to kids (often below age 8) whose teeth are still developing. Some mouth washes and rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine digluconate can also stain your teeth. Certain medications for high blood pressure also contribute toward teeth discoloration.
• Disease: – Diseases that affect enamel and dentin can cause tooth discoloration. Teeth can also discolor because of treatments for certain medical conditions. For instance, chemotherapy for head and neck can lead to teeth discoloration.
• Aging: – The natural color of dentin is yellow. It is the teeth-enamel that keeps the yellow color of dentin hidden. As an individual grows old, the external layer of enamel on his or her teeth gets worn away. With the worn out enamel layer, dentin is exposed, which makes the tooth look yellow or discolored.
• Dental Materials: – Certain materials used in cosmetic dentistry, such as amalgam restorations, can impart a grayish color to teeth.
• Trauma: – Trauma, for instance damage from a fall, can disrupt enamel formation in kids whose teeth are developing. With the improper enamel formation, teeth are at a risk of discoloration. Trauma can even cause teeth discoloration in adults.
• Environment: – Excessive exposure to fluoride due to environmental sources (high fluoride concentration in water) or due to excessive use of fluoride-rich toothpaste, rinses, and fluoride supplements can lead to teeth discoloration.
How to Prevent Teeth Discoloration
Now that we know what causes tooth discoloration, let us see how to prevent it. The best way to prevent teeth discoloration is my making a few lifestyle changes. For example, if you are habituated to tobacco and/or coffee, try holding back or quitting all together. Further, improve dental hygiene by thoroughly brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Getting your teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist every 6 months is also important.
In case if your teeth appear to be of an unusual color without a good explanation, schedule an appointment to see your dentist.
Treatment Options to Whiten Discolored Teeth
It is possible to whiten discolored teeth, but the treatment options for it can vary depending upon the cause of discoloration. Some of the ways to whiten discolored teeth are as follows:
• Using adequate brushing and flossing techniques
• Refrain consuming the foods and drinks that cause stains
• Dental veneers
• Dental bonding
• Using over-the-counter teeth whitening products
• In-home teeth whitening systems provided by your dentist
• In-office teeth whitening treatments
The last option, in-office teeth whitening treatments, is the quickest and the most effective way to whiten discolored teeth. It is, however, a bit expensive than other options.
If you are in Pennsylvania, looking for ways to whiten your discolored teeth, Flenniken Family Dentistry can help. Flenniken Family Dentistry, a group of experienced dentists in Pennsylvania, provides various treatment options to whiten discolored teeth. Their services are not only of exceptional levels, but affordable as well. Visit their website https://www.monarchsmiles.com/ or contact them at 717.249.7777 to know more about them as well as their dental services.