7 Causes of Teeth Discoloration and Stains
A dazzling smile can brighten up anyone’s day. However, discolored and stained teeth can be a major cause of embarrassment and low self-esteem. Explore seven common causes of teeth discoloration and stains so you can better understand what might affect your smile.
1. Consumption Habits
Food and beverages contain chemicals that can penetrate your teeth’s outer layers and foster stain-causing environments, which can make your enamel more vulnerable to discoloration. Tobacco products like cigarettes or chewing tobacco can also stain teeth.
2. Poor Oral Hygiene
Plaque can accumulate on your teeth and stain them if you don’t regularly brush, floss, and rinse your mouth. Plaque is a food- and saliva-based sticky film that can adhere to teeth and harden into a coating. Additionally, tartar accumulation can discolor teeth if you don’t receive frequent professional dental cleanings.
Poor oral hygiene can also result in tooth decay, which can darken the teeth. When you neglect your teeth, the enamel may deteriorate and leave your teeth susceptible to staining.
As we get older, wear and tear can cause the enamel on our teeth to become thinner. This process lets the yellow dentin underneath show through. Our gums may also recede as we age, which exposes more root surfaces. These root surfaces may be darker in color and give the appearance of darker or more yellow teeth.
4. Medications and Dental Materials
Children under the age of eight may experience tooth darkening when they consume some antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline. These medicines may prevent healthy enamel development in youngsters, which can result in dental discoloration. Additionally, mouthwashes and rinses with cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine can discolor teeth.
Adult teeth can also discolor due to antihistamines, psychiatric medications, and blood pressure medications. Also, dental materials, such as silver amalgam restorations, contain silver sulfide that can leave a gray-black cast on teeth.
Consult your doctor or dentist if you worry about the potential negative effects of any medications or dental procedures you undertake or may begin taking, as they can affect the color of your teeth.
Fluoride can discolor teeth in two ways: from environmental sources such as drinking water with high fluoride levels or from overuse of fluoride treatments, rinses, toothpaste, and oral fluoride supplements.
First, too much fluoride during tooth development can result in fluorosis, which shows up as white spots on the teeth. These stains are irremovable and permanent. Second, the absorption of too much fluoride in your system as a youngster might stain your teeth as an adult. This discoloration can be minor or severe and is often brown in hue.
6. Diseases and Trauma
Discoloration can result from illnesses that affect the enamel and dentin of the teeth. Discoloration can also occur due to diseases that can affect a pregnant mother’s ability to produce healthy enamel for her unborn child.
Discoloration can also result from trauma, such as a fall or sports accident, especially in young children whose teeth are still forming. When a sports accident or other impact causes blood supply to the tooth to decrease or the nerve to die, trauma can result in discoloration in adults. Discoloration in both situations might range from yellow to brown.
7. Unverified Whitening Formulas
Baking soda is an abrasive chemical that can wear away your tooth’s enamel, the hard outermost layer that keeps your teeth white and healthy. When baking soda wears away the enamel, it can expose the second layer, the more porous yellowish dentin. Thus, your teeth may appear more yellow as a result and may be more vulnerable to stains and cavities.
Contact us at Crest Hill Family Dental to learn how we can help you overcome such dental problems.