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Tooth Discoloration: Why Does It Happen?

On our way to a perfect smile, there are many things that can ruin our goal. Such is the case of tooth discoloration which can happen overtime or out of a sudden.

So for today’s article, we will be talking about tooth discoloration, what it is, why it happens, what you can do to help it, and other helpful tips thanks to our Los Algodones dentists.


What is tooth discoloration?

Tooth discoloration can come in different ways, but they are either changes in the tooth, or stains on the surface of it. As such, it is often divided into three:


Extrinsic discoloration 

This is the most common out there. It happens when the surface of our tooth enamel absorbs dark pigments that typically come from the food and drinks we consume.

Some of the most common staining foods and drinks out there are coffee, soda, wine, pasta sauce, and some spices. Of course, smoking and using tobacco products also causes this type of discoloration.


Intrinsic discoloration

Now intrinsic discoloration is when the dentin, which is the spongy structure that comes after the tooth enamel, gets darker in color. This type of stain can be a little bit more tricky to treat, but not impossible.

There are many reasons why the dentin can acquire a darker shade. Some of the reasons being fluorisis, the use of tetracycline antibiotics during pregnancy or childhood or a blow that has affected one of the tooth


Age-related discoloration

When talking about age-related, it is most of the time a mix of both extrinsic and intrinsic discolorations. You see, as we grow older it is normal for our dentin to darken with time. Also our tooth enamel gets thinner, so the color of the dentin sticks out even further. Of course, this adds up to all the extrinsic stains we might have gotten through food, smoking, or bad oral hygiene.


How to prevent tooth discoloration

In retrospective, it is quite easy to avoid the discoloration of the teeth. It is enough by just being mindful about what we eat and consume, and deal with it accordingly.

As to give some examples, if you happen to drink coffee every morning, either at home or at the office, then consider cutting it a bit or even drinking water after it.

Likewise, dentists in Los Algodones wholeheartedly recommend engaging in good oral habits. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and using a therapeutic mouthwash. Visiting a dentist once every six months is also a reliable way to have the support of a professional when it comes to a healthy set of teeth.


Treatments and procedures to get rid of it

There are many options available that depend from patient to patient. So taking into consideration where the discoloration comes from, the dentist will be able to give the best choice.

One popular way is to get a bleaching agent to help remove surface stains. This can be done either through a whitening toothpaste or at-home whitening kits. These offer bleaching agents that are safe to use and will likely take some weeks before seeing a clear difference.

Then we have a great array of choices at the dental office. Not only can a dentist offer tooth whitening, which uses a powerful bleaching agent with safety measures, but also other ways to get your teeth as white as they can be.

For intrinsic stains, however, there are procedures such as bonding and veneers. These also work if the issue is only a single tooth, helping it match the shade of white of the others.

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