Types of Tooth Discoloration
Tooth discoloration may make you hesitate to smile; it can be a confidence breaker especially in teens and young adults. However, did you know there are different forms of tooth discoloration? Learn about the variations, the causes behind each one, and the treatment options.
Teeth Discoloration Categories
Teeth discoloration falls into different categories based on the type and the nature behind the discoloration. Most dentists recognize three types of teeth discoloration.
1. Extrinsic Teeth Stains
Extrinsic staining is discoloration at the molars’ surface level. This is often the result of years of food and beverage pigments making contact with your teeth for prolonged periods. Brownish teeth from consistently drinking coffee is a common form of extrinsic teeth stain.
2. Intrinsic Teeth Stains
Intrinsic stains occur below the teeth surface and are therefore trickier to remove. Causes may stem from using too much fluoride. Medication has also been linked to deep-level teeth stains.
3. Age-Related Teeth Stains
Teeth also naturally begin to turn yellowish as you get older. As you age, the surface layer of the teeth begins wearing away. This exposes the dentin layer, which has a yellowish tint. Age-related stains can also be exacerbated by the effects of both extrinsic and intrinsic staining.
Causes of Tooth Stains
Various causes attribute to the above teeth-staining conditions. Here are the common culprits behind teeth discoloration.
Food and Beverages
Foods and beverages containing artificial dyes can especially stain your teeth. However, some natural food and drinks can also lead to discoloration over time. This includes coffee, tea, soy sauce, and even fruits like blueberries and cranberries. As a rule of thumb, any foods that are capable of staining your clothing or carpet is also capable of staining your teeth.
This includes both cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Teeth and bones are porous. This enables the tar and nicotine to reach beyond the molar surfaces, causing long-term intrinsic teeth staining. For the same reason, vaping can also lead to staining since most brands still contain nicotine.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Lack of brushing and flossing can contribute to teeth discoloration. When you don’t properly brush, it enables the aforementioned foods and beverages to linger in your mouth for longer periods.
Some medical maladies can lead to teeth enamel erosion and expose the dentin as a side effect. Some of the conditions include calcium deficiency, celiac disease, and rickets.
Tooth Discoloration Treatments
Treatment depends on the teeth discoloration type. You may be able to minimize extrinsic staining with simple lifestyle modifications. However, long-term solutions for intrinsic and age-related discoloration may require professional treatment.
Brush with Baking Soda
Mix water and baking soda and stir until a paste is formed. Use this to brush your teeth in the morning or evening. Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive that may scrub away some of the surface-level stains. This is not a quick-fix and may take several weeks before you see results.
Limit Teeth-Staining Foods
Consume teeth-staining-foods and drinks in moderation. When you do consume them, rinse your mouth right after. Some people brush their teeth immediately after, but this isn’t a good idea. Most teeth-staining foods and beverages are acidic, and brushing may embed the acid deeper into your teeth pores. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
Opalescence Go Kit Treatment
If you go the professional treatment route, consider Opalescence as a viable pathway. This is a teeth-whitening tray that you use in the convenience of your own home. You can purchase the trays and refill kits at an affordable price through your local dentist office.
See also: Teeth Whitening: Go Professional!
Get Treatment Today
Do you have visible teeth stains? Make an appointment with Gina Liggio Maestri DDS Family Dentistry for teeth whitening in Lafayette, LA. Our cosmetic dentistry provides Opalescence Go Kits. Use the trays daily and in the privacy of your own home. With consistent use, your teeth will return to their natural pearly whites!