Reasons for Tooth Discoloration
You may have noticed that your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be. Are they stained from drinking coffee, tea or wine? Or could there be a health reason behind it?
Tooth discoloration or staining affects many people. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are many causes for darkening or discoloration of teeth. First, the natural color varies from person to person due to intrinsic factors or genetics. Dark-colored foods or drinks like coffee or red wine can affect tooth appearance. Smokers and those with poor dental hygiene can also be affected by changes in tooth coloration over time. Some medications and procedures, as well as genetics and the environment, play a role in the color of your teeth. Infection and trauma can have a significant impact.
All of these factors play a substantial role in the appearance of our teeth, and so does aging. As we age, the outer layers of our teeth wear away, revealing the darker layer of dentin found beneath the enamel. Sometimes, infections can cause the tooth to have a gray color, and if there are any signs of infection or trauma, the first call to make is to your dentist. In rare cases, discoloration or darkening can be a sign of underlying disease, so it’s important to be consistent with your time in the dentist’s chair.
The American College of Prosthodontists offers a few solutions to the problem of stained and discolored teeth. First, it can be managed by an in-office tooth whitening procedure or a thorough cleaning (or both). Another option might be the placement of porcelain veneers.
If you’re concerned about recent changes in the appearance of your teeth or gums, always make an appointment with Dr. Dave or Dr. Mike to discuss your concerns. In many cases, the changes could be related to food and drink, and a thorough cleaning and exam will assuage your fears that something might be wrong with your smile. They’ll also be able to guide you in the right direction with habit changes that could help maintain a whiter smile. If a cosmetic treatment like teeth whitening or veneers is a better option for improving the look of your smile, we can help you with that, too.
In short, tooth darkening can have many causes, and not all of them mean something is wrong. However, the experts agree that the best way to find out for sure is to prioritize your smile, and your health, by making time for regular dental check-ups and routine cleanings.