Yellowing or discoloration of the teeth is common as patients age. Stains from certain beverages and foods and an gradual wear and thinning of the tooth enamel create discolored teeth over time. While this is the most common cause of tooth discoloration, other factors such as lifestyle habits, genetics, and certain medications can cause more evasive tooth discoloration.
Bright, white smiles are often viewed as more attractive and confident. Patients with discolored teeth can benefit from cosmetic treatments that brighten and whiten the surface of the teeth. There are several cosmetic treatments that are commonly used to address tooth discoloration of varying types. Dr. Srikureja offers professional teeth whitening gels, take-home whitening kits and cosmetic veneers to improve the appearance of discolored teeth.
Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration
- Age- Even if you practice good oral hygiene and eat a well-balanced diet, over time the enamel on your teeth begins to wear thin. As the enamel slowly breaks down, the inner layer of the tooth known as dentin becomes exposed. Dentin is naturally yellow in color and gives teeth a subtle yellow appearance. Lifestyle habits and diet can exasperate this process resulting in premature staining of the teeth.
- Diet- Coffee, red wine, or a highly acidic diet can wear away enamel. Patients who imbibe in these beverages or foods should consider limiting their intake. Patients are also encouraged to drink beverages such as coffee quickly instead of slowly sipping on them throughout the day to help prevent tooth staining.
- Tobacco Use- Smoking, chewing, or vaping tobacco products can stain the surface of teeth. Patients who have quit smoking can benefit from a professional teeth cleaning and whitening treatment. Whiter teeth can take years off the appearance of your smile.
- Injury- Often times a trauma or injury to a tooth can cause dark brown or black spots to form. This type of tooth discoloration is usually resistant to whitening gels. Montclair Plaza Dental Office offers cosmetic solutions such as veneers and tooth bonding for repairing permanent tooth discoloration.
- Medications- Certain antibiotics can cause permanent spots of discoloration on your teeth. Discoloration caused by medications may be splotchy and brown causing the teeth to look dirty. Cosmetic dental treatments can be used to cover staining creating a more beautiful smile.
Alternatives to Teeth Whitening
There are certain types of tooth stains that do not respond to professional teeth whitening, including those caused by medications or medical conditions. We will work with you to evaluate the cause of your discolored or stained teeth and make a treatment recommendation that will whiten your smile with lasting results. Alternative treatments for teeth whitening can include: