It can be rather upsetting to see that your smile is no longer as bright and appealing as it used to. Most people’s teeth become stained and discolored and result of diet and poor oral hygiene habits. It can make the whole appearance look dull and unkempt, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out the causes and what you can do about it.
There are some reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. The culprits for tooth discoloration are as follows:
- Tobacco – Smoking or chewing on them stains teeth.
- Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
- Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
- Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
- Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
- Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
- Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can stain teeth; this is known as fluorosis.
- Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
- Trauma – a hit to the maxillofacial region can damage the tooth and cause discoloration due to pulp necrosis.
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.
The options vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers. These tools cater for various needs according to patient’s concern.