Why Teeth Get Discolored

Tooth discoloration and staining causes embarrassment and self-consciousness. Though many causes of tooth discoloration are under your control, some are not. The following is a brief list of causes and cures:

Drinks: Coffee and tea tend to stain teeth, especially when sipped over a prolonged period. Periodic professional cleanings and in-office tooth whitening reverse these effects.

Smoking / Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco have a negative effect on tooth color, gingival health, and breath. The best treatment is never to start smoking, or try to quit if you currently smoke. Periodic in-office cleanings and professional tooth whitening minimize the discoloring effects of smoking.

Dental Restorations: Metal restorations tend to breakdown at the edges (margins) and may reduce the transparency of tooth enamel. Replacing metal fillings with tooth colored composites or porcelains reverses these effects. Even tooth-colored restorations stain with time and may need replacement.

Age: With aging comes the cumulative effect of tooth staining. The outer tooth enamel wears down with time, causing teeth to turn more yellow. Porcelain veneers or dental bonding replace that worn layer, and restore the youthful glow of teeth.

Chemicals and Medications: During the tooth development of a child, certain antibiotics such as tetracycline or excessive ingestion of fluoride can cause permanent tooth staining. Though these stains can not be cleaned or whitened, porcelain veneers or composite bonding can give the stained teeth a new face.

In addition to the causes listed above, trauma and genetics play a role in changing tooth color. Keep your teeth whiter and brighter by regular dental cleanings, and ask us about your cosmetic options to get that perfect smile.

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