Causes of Tooth Discoloration and Its Effective Treatment

Causes of tooth discoloration

Are you searching for the best remedy for your discolored teeth? If so, you are not alone as many people want to have white teeth and avoid discoloration and stains on their teeth. Nobody would want to smile in the mirror and see two rows of yellow teeth. Tooth discoloration makes your teeth not look as bright as they should. Your teeth may turn from white to various colors, darken, or develop dark or white spots in places.

Your teeth can become discolored or stained for various reasons, including disease, poor oral hygiene, and your lifestyle. The good news? Fortunately, teeth discoloration and stains are preventable and treatable. This post will help you understand what causes tooth discoloration, as well as the treatment and prevention options available.

Types of Tooth Discoloration and Stains

Besides the ordinary aging process, there are two different types of tooth discoloration:

i. Extrinsic Discoloration

This kind of discoloration affects the outer surface of your tooth or enamel. It is normally caused by taking a strong-colored food or drink such as cola, coffee, and red wine, although smoking is a major culprit for this type of staining.

ii. Intrinsic Discoloration

This type of tooth discoloration describes what occurs when the inner surface of your teeth, otherwise known as dentin, starts to turn yellow or darker. It normally looks grayish. The common causes of intrinsic discoloration include specific medications and dental trauma.

7 Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

If the popularity of teeth whitening is anything to go by, Americans are more concerned about the color of their teeth. Although this makes us self-conscious, teeth discoloration is common, and it can come from a wide range of issues. Knowing these causes is important for anyone who wants to maintain a white smile since it helps you and your dentist to work together to manage or prevent tooth stains.

1. Use of Tobacco products or cigarettes

Tobacco use in the form of chewing tobacco or cigarettes can not only cause gum disease but also tooth discoloration. Research shows that tooth discoloration is more prevalent among people who use tobacco products compared to people who don’t.

2. Tooth Decay

Black is a sign of soft pulp disease, or tooth decay which may turn your teeth to have a grayish color. Chewing betel nuts can also make your teeth to be black. Exposure to minerals such as manganese, silver, or iron can create a black line on your teeth.

3. Misuse of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a safe cosmetic dentistry procedure, posing little to no risk for most patients. However, misuse or overuse of teeth whitening products can lead to gum irritation, enamel damage, and tooth discoloration.

If your teeth are overexposed to the hydrogen peroxide chemical contained in the whitening gel, the outer layers of the enamel may start to wear away, thus exposing the soft inner tissues and dentin. This can lead to discoloration and lasting sensitivity, as dentin has a natural dark color compared to the enamel.

4. Antibiotics

Certain antibiotics such as doxycycline and stetracycline are known to cause tooth discoloration especially when given to kids whose teeth are in the development phase.

Mouthwashes and rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine can also stain your teeth. The same applies to certain medical procedures such as chemotherapy or neck and head radiation.

5. Tartar

Black teeth can occur for different reasons. An underlying cavity or decay may start as black spots. External factors can make your teeth turn black from the outer layer of your tooth. These can include stains, damage to your enamel, and tartar buildup.

Tartar can slowly creep below your gum line, and blood from destroyed gums may mix with the tartar to create a stained, dark appearance.

6. Poor oral hygiene

Failing to floss and brush daily or not brushing properly is a major cause of tooth discoloration. Stains like to cling near the dental plaque. If you don’t eliminate plaque with regular flossing and brushing, you are at risk of developing discolored teeth.

7. Aging

As you age, your enamel slowly starts to wear down, thus revealing the natural color of dentin which is yellowish. Since dentin is yellow, this implies that many people’s teeth begin to appear yellowish as they begin to age.

Other causes of tooth discoloration include excessive fluoride, trauma, genetics, and previous dental procedures.

How to Remove Plaque on Teeth

How can a dentist help treat tooth discoloration?

Your dentist can use different tooth discoloration procedures based on the underlying cause and whether the stains impact the inner or outer layers of teeth. There are several dental treatment options available to prevent or treat tooth discoloration. These include:

  • Professional teeth whitening: Your dentist may offer at-home or in-office professional teeth whitening procedures. These treatments use carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to break up the stains and remove them from your teeth. It works perfectly for extrinsic tooth discoloration.
  • Dental bonding: If you have severe tooth discoloration that doesn’t vanish with professional teeth whitening, your dentist can recommend dental bonding. This involves using tooth-colored resin to hide discolored teeth. Bonding is more affordable compared to other procedures such as porcelain veneers.
  • Porcelain veneers: If your tooth discoloration does not improve with dental bonding, you may want to think about porcelain veneers. These tooth-colored shells are strong, yet thin. A dentist can glue them to the front sides of your teeth to conceal discoloration or other cosmetic errors such as misshapen or chipping teeth.
  • Dental crowns: If you have decayed or weakened teeth besides discoloration, your dentist may recommend dental crowns. Dental crowns help enhance the function and health of your teeth as well as their look.

Schedule an appointment with your dentist today

Now that you have known the causes of tooth discoloration, it’s time to visit your dentist to develop a plan that will keep your smile bright. A proper dental health routine- including daily flossing and brushing and routine oral health checkups- will help, as well as quitting smoking and reducing acidic beverages.

Are you ready to brighten your smile and avoid tooth discoloration in Murfreesboro TN? Call Fitzgerald Dentistry at 615-896-7582 or book an appointment online today.