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Tooth Discoloration: What Causes It?

You might have noticed that your teeth are not as white as they used to be. In fact, they might be leaning too much into the yellow color: that’s tooth discoloration.

It can happen for several reasons and it is actually pretty common, so do not worry too much. So if you wish to have whiter teeth like those from TV and the movies, then you have to follow good oral habits!

Los Algodones dentists know this subject and how dreadful it can be, so we have collected some information that might be of your interest.

 

What causes tooth discoloration?

There are many, many factors that can play an important role here. It can be as simple as the usual food we consume, and as complicated as the result of a disease.

  • Food we consume. Typically, food with too much color in them can be absorbed by our teeth. These foods can range from coffee, wines, sodas, tea, and more.
  • Bad oral hygiene. With food and plaque roaming free in your mouth, then the tooth enamel will break down more than what it can repair itself. A thin tooth enamel makes the dentin’s yellow color more apparent.
  • Different diseases. There are some of them that can directly affect the tooth enamel and dentin. Certain treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can affect the natural tooth color. The same goes for unborn babies.
  • Smoking and use of tobacco products. The use of these affect not only the color of the teeth, but also leads to dry mouth.
  • Tooth trauma. A bad fall or hit can cause a sudden tooth discoloration. It is advised to check with your dentist if this happens.
  • Some medication can affect the teeth color in kids.
  • It is natural for the teeth to look yellow the older we are. It is a combination of our tooth enamel growing thin and our dentin being yellow.
  • This is related to the tooth enamel of people. Some have much thicker tooth enamel than others, so it masks the yellow dentin better.

 

Types of discoloration

Without counting the one through age, then there are only two of them: intrinsic and extrinsic. They are also very straightforward to explain!

 

Intrinsic

These are the internal stains. This happens when the dentin itself gets stained.

The causes for this can vary. Some examples for this can be from poor dental hygiene, trauma, or medication.

 

Extrinsic

These are the surface stains. They are easier to get rid off as they are not deep into the tooth.

The most common causes for this is food like sodas, sauces, wine, etc.

 

How to prevent tooth discoloration?

There are many ways to help preventing tooth discoloration. Los Algodones dentists suggest to start lowering the amount of staining foods that you consume. Also if you are prone to smoking or sipping coffee for long periods of time, then you should do something about that.

Moreover, do not forget to engage in good oral habits! Brushing, flossing, mouthwashes and of course, make sure to visit a dentist twice a year. These are all important in their own way.

 

What treatments are available to whiten the teeth?

The treatments can vary from being at home or at the office. Typically, treatments at home are much slower, whereas at the office the results are fast and clear.

Among the options there are:

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • At-home whitening/bleaching kits.
  • OTC whitening agents.
  • In-office whitening procedures.
  • Tooth bonding.
  • Veneers.

Hopefully these are of your interest! If you are interested in these an many other treatments, Dental del Rio has them for you with an excellent service.

 

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