Slow the Natural Process of Tooth Discoloration
Our smile is our greatest asset; it gives us confidence and livens up the spirit of the people around us. However, over time your teeth naturally stain and become discolored. Tooth discoloration is a very common issue and there are many treatments available to whiten your teeth.
But before you learn about treatments you will need to know the reasons for tooth discoloration.
The most common causes for tooth discoloration include:
Too many colored drinks: Beverages like coffee and tea and red wine are the common elements that discolor teeth. The tannins present in white wine can also erode your enamel. Drinks with high acidity like soft drinks and juices are also usual perpetrators of tooth discoloration.
Colored Foods: Food items like candies, cakes, and popsicles can lead to tooth discoloration over time. Ketchup, berries, sauces also cause staining of the teeth.
Medications: Certain drugs such as Benadryl and antibiotics such as tetracycline can cause heavy staining of the teeth.
The inevitable Aging Process: No matter what we do or how many times we brush, our teeth will lose color and become yellow as we age. The protective coating of our teeth wears off as we age.
Dental materials: Some of the dental procedures like dental restorations and implants can turn the teeth gray-black in certain cases.
Genetics: Genetics is also believed to be a culprit behind early tooth discoloration.
Types of Tooth Discoloration
Extrinsic discoloration: This is the most common type of tooth discoloration where the stains are caused on the outer surface of the tooth. In this type, the staining largely appears along the edges and close to the gums. These are caused by the consumption of colored food and drinks.
Intrinsic discoloration: These are deep stains that pertain to a small area of the tooth. This type of tooth discoloration occurs due to the use of certain medications, too much fluoride, dental diseases, or genetics.
So how can you avoid tooth discoloration?
Though you cannot entirely prevent tooth discoloration, you can take certain steps to prolong the time until tooth discoloration occurs.
Avoid consuming the above-said drinks and food frequently: It is impossible to entirely give up candies and wine, but you can regulate the amount and frequencies of consuming them.
Drink lots of Water: Each time you consume a meal with teeth-staining food, make sure to swirl water inside your mouth immediately to get rid of acids and stains.
Routine Dental Hygiene: Brushing, flossing, and standard dental checkups are to be followed. When you follow these habits, you are less likely to deal with heavily stained teeth.
Dental Treatments for extrinsic stains
- Since the surface stains are easy to get rid of, they are first and foremost treated with a basic teeth whitening system. Teeth whitening is a safe process that makes a huge difference in teeth color.
- No dental restorations are required and the effects last for a very long time.
- Normally dentists use a whitening gel to dissolve the stains from the enamel and whiten your teeth up to eight shades.
- This treatment can be done in a single sitting at the dentist’s clinic or at home.
- At the dental office it is a one-hour procedure where after the gel is applied to the teeth, a special light is flashed on the teeth to activate the gel.
- The whitening treatment at the clinic is recommended as patients get the doctor’s attention and care, which reduces the risk of gum exposure and irritations.
Deep Stain Treatments
Some of the deep stains can be treated with teeth whitening procedures, but most of it can remain.
Restorations are a great way to hide your tooth discoloration. The two most common methods of hiding stains are through dental bonding and porcelain veneers:
The Dental bonding
- The dental bond method makes use of the composite resin, which is smeared over the exterior of the tooth.
- A tooth-colored resin is applied over your tooth, then an ultra-violet light is used to harden this resin. The process continues with the dentist adding extra layers as per requirement. This hardened resin covers the discoloration.
- Dental bonding is a much quicker, simpler, and less expensive method.
The Porcelain veneers method
- Veneers are used to form a substitute for the surface of the tooth, improving tooth color and structure.
- To make the veneers, a thin layer of your tooth enamel is first taken off, and then impressions of your tooth are made.
- Using these impressions, a veneer is made and it is then cemented over the tooth. This results in brighter and more perfect teeth.
- Veneers conceal multiple imperfections and are more durable.