Tooth discolouration can’t be determined from just one cause. In some cases it can’t be avoided – although it’s important to know how it can be prevented.
Types and causes of Discolouration
Discoloured teeth can be caused by either stains on the surfaces or by changes inside the teeth. There are three main types of discolouration, these are:-
- Extrinsic: this occurs when your enamel (outer layer of the tooth) is stained.
- Intrinsic: this is when your dentin (inside structure of the tooth) gets darker or has a yellow tint.
- Age relation: this is where your dentin naturally turns yellow over time, overtime the enamel covering your teeth gets thiner which is leaves your dentin exposed.
Extrinsic discolouration is caused by consuming food/drinks that stain your teeth such as Coffee, Tea, fizzy drinks, dark fruit juices etc. Smoking or chewing tobacco also play a huge part in leaving your teeth stained.
Intrinsic discolouration can be caused if your mother used Tetracycline antibiotics during pregnancy, or if you have personally used this antibiotic. You have been exposed to too much Fluoride during early childhood. Trauma also plays apart – if you have had trauma in a permanent tooth and has led to internal bleeding, as well as trauma that affected a tooth when you were young. For example, falling over and hitting your teeth. A final cause can be if you have the rare condition called ‘Dentinogenesis Imperfecta’, this causes grey, orange and purple discolourations.
What food and drinks will stain my teeth?
- Red wine
- Tea and Coffee (including fruit teas)
- Fizzy drinks and fruit juices
- Red berries
- Soy sauce and ketchup
- Dark Balsamic vinegars
How can I prevent my teeth from discolouring?
To prevent discolouration you need to cut out the obvious factors that are bad for your teeth, if you smoke then contact your GP about how to quit – you and your teeth with benefit massively from this.
Cut down on the amount of tea and/or coffee and sugary drinks and those listed above you are drinking and replace it with water or light/clear liquids.
If you struggle to refrain from sugary drinks or you need certain amounts of sugar for Diabetes or other medical conditions then it is recommended to drink through a straw to help prevent stains. If you have drank something acidic that you know will stain your teeth such as red wine, drink milk or plain water to help reduce the acid’s eroding effect.
Often, certain foods such as apples, pears, celery, carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers produce saliva which combines with the foods’ natural fibres to naturally clean teeth and remove the build up of bacteria.
Brushing your teeth regularly or 30 minutes after each meal with help prevent stains, as well as rinsing with mouthwash and flossing in-between teeth. Another option to prevent your teeth discolouring would be to book an appointment with your dentist for a professional clean.
Discolourations are generally responsive to bleaching procedures, and dentists can advise on how to whiten yellow teeth depending on your case.
If your teeth are moderately stained and may be easily whitened, then your dentist may recommend using a certain toothpaste and mouthwash which targets stains, as well as putting you a plan together on how to keep up good oral health in order to brighten your smile. If you’re considering whitening your teeth then it’s vital to remember that this should be done professionally by your dentist.
In recent times, there have been many cases of individuals purchasing home whitening kits which temporarily whiten your teeth but in fact actually damage your enamel and leave your dentin exposed. Although, there are home whitening kits available that are safe to use and are completely harmless, check them with your dentist first though.
At Mark Tangri Dental, our Teeth Whitening Treatment involves bleaching your teeth to make them lighter. Teeth whitening can’t make your teeth brilliant white, but it can lighten the existing colour by several shades.
We use the brand ’White Dental Beauty’ which is a whitening compound that delivers improved whitening results. This worldwide professional tooth whitening system is leading the way with high quality teeth whitening gels. All of their products are powered by an intelligent compound — NOVON®, proven to offer safe and effective results.
Hypothetically speaking, if you were to have your teeth professionally whitened it is important to retain good oral hygiene to prevent discolouration. Cut down on the amount of acidic or sugary drinks you are consuming, try to quit smoking and make note of what foods you are eating that will potentially stain your teeth. As well as brushing at least twice a day, using floss and rinsing with mouthwash.
If you’re interested in discovering more about discoloured teeth and our teeth whitening service, please contact Mark Tangri Dental today on 0333 1234 999 and book a free consultation with us.
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