Are you struggling to smile due to stained teeth?
Tooth discolouration is a common problem and a common source of embarrassment but luckily it is easily preventable and treatable. Genetics, age and oral hygiene are all major factors in determining the shade of our pearly and not so pearly whites.
There are two main types of teeth discolouration:
Extrinsic stains occur on the surface of the tooth, or the enamel, and it can range from yellow tints to white streaks to unsightly brown spots and pits. Extrinsic stains are caused by the following:
Food & Drink: Tea, soda, red wine, and coffee when consumed on a regular basis will stain your teeth. Food such as potatoes, berries, curries, and soy sauce will also discolour your teeth. Beverages and food of extreme temperatures will also damage the colour of your teeth. The cold and heat open and close the pores in your teeth leaving them vulnerable for staining agents to attack them.
Smoking: Any form of tobacco, even chewing tobacco, will definitely stain your teeth.
Poor Oral Hygiene: The long term effects of not maintaining a healthy oral hygiene regime will include tooth discolouration.
Intrinsic discolouration occurs in the dentin (inner structure of the tooth) and appears as a yellow or grey coloured stain. Intrinsic stains are caused by the following:
- Drugs/Medication: Prescription drugs like tetracycline antibiotics (as a pregnant mother or a child 8 years old or younger), antihistamines, antidepressants, and high blood pressure medication can cause your teeth to become discoloured.
- Dental Fluorosis: Fluoride is essential in preventing tooth decay; however, too much fluoride can have a negative effect. This condition, dental fluorosis, only affects children who are still forming their permanent teeth.
- Trauma: Teeth that have been chipped, broken, or not properly capped after a fall or injury are susceptible to discolouration due to enamel damage or a dead nerve.
Genetics & ageing:
This falls under both categories as dentin naturally yellows and enamel becomes thinner over an extended amount of time. Unfortunately, regardless of genetics, our teeth do not age gracefully.
Prevention & treatment:
Tooth discolouration is inevitable, but there are certainly ways to slow the process down. Eliminating or monitoring the consumption of foods and beverages that encourage stains will be helpful. If you stop using tobacco, practice better oral hygiene, and alter the medications that you are taking that result in tooth discolouration, you will effectively slow down the process.
Depending on the cause of discolouration, treatment options will vary from patient to patient. Underlying problems such as tooth decay and gum disease will need to be treated first, before cosmetic measures take place. Listed below are three different treatment methods for whitening your teeth:
- Teeth Whitening: Tusk Dental will provide you with teeth whitening dental trays to apply at home. We will need to take a mold of your teeth and then provide you with a gel containing peroxide. You will be required to wear this mouth-piece on a daily basis for approximately two weeks.
- Laser Teeth Whitening: We will apply the peroxide gel and use a laser’s heat to activate the teeth whitening agents. The procedure will occur in the dental office and will take approximately one hour.
- Veneers: Dental veneers are made of porcelain and are cemented onto the teeth. This procedure will be suggested if the ones above do no work. Veneers are great for those with misaligned or broken teeth.
Tusk Dental Provides Gentle Care! Why wait another day? Contact Tusk Dental and let us help you keep that beautiful smile healthy!