Teeth Discoloration and Your Smile

teeth-discolorationWhy Does My Smile Suffer From Teeth Discoloration?

Teeth discoloration happens to all of us as we get older, for a number of reasons. Your teeth can suffer from Intrinsic stains, taking place inside the enamel, and Extrinsic stains, which are seen on the outside surface of the tooth.

Intrinsic Teeth Discoloration

They are many foods and drinks that we consume that are culprits in darkening our once pearly white teeth. You can suffer from teeth discoloration if you frequently drink or eat any of the following:  tea, coffee, carrot or grape juice, berries, beats, or soda.  If you like to enjoy a warm beverage when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed, those temperature changes actually cause your teeth to expand and contract; this means that your hot tea or coffee is penetrating the micro-cracks in the enamel, causing intrinsic staining on your smile.

What we eat and drink are not the only things that cause teeth discoloration.  If you had silver fillings as a child, those old, amalgam fillings are now leaching out silver salts onto your teeth in your adulthood. These salts cause teeth discoloration. Your dentist would recommend replacing those old fillings with “white” composite resin fillings, which not only match the teeth, but support the tooth extremely well.

Sometimes a single tooth will darken because it has suffered trauma or its pulp (nerve) has died. Bleeding occurring inside the tooth or debris within the pulp of the tooth will cause it to have a dark gray appearance. If a child suffers high fever, takes certain medications, or takes extra high doses of fluoride as a child, their smile can suffer teeth discoloration in the form of gray/brown bands or even bright white patches, because their enamel was not completely formed.

Extrinsic Teeth Discoloration

If your smile has extrinsic teeth discoloration, usually it can be removed with a good dental cleaning and polishing. If your hygienist uses an air abrasion instrument, it will be very helpful in removing your stains. However, once you have undergone the cleaning at your dental office, you should be aware of what is causing your teeth discoloration and work to eliminate it.

Your Options

There are several options that you can discuss with your dentist when treating your teeth discoloration. These include bleaching, porcelain veneers, or even bonding. If teeth discoloration is inhibiting you from having a beautiful smile, discuss it with your dentist at your next appointment. They would be happy to find the right treatment to make your smile the best that it can be.