There are many possible reasons for tooth discoloration. Unfortunately, losing the bright white finish your teeth had when you were a child is a normal process. Some common causes of tooth discoloration are:
Aging: Unfortunately, aging causes our teeth to appear darker or begin to turn yellow. This is a natural process caused by the wearing-down of your tooth’s protective enamel layer. As this layer becomes more worn, the darker dentin beneath it begins to show through, causing the color change.
Genetic causes: Some individuals are just born with a naturally thicker or thinner layer of enamel, impacting the natural color of your teeth. Additionally, some genetic disorders may cause an abnormal development of your teeth’s enamel layer.
Proper oral hygiene: Excellent oral hygiene removes the plaque-causing bacteria from your teeth before damage can be done. If allowed to remain, plaque eventually hardens into tartar that can cause extensive damage to your enamel, allowing for easier staining and darkening of your teeth.
Medical causes: Certain medications such as antibiotics or antihistamines and certain medical procedures including chemotherapy can make your teeth more receptive to staining and discoloration. Be sure to mention this to Dr. Peikidis if you believe this may be a factor, as it can often be overlooked when determining your best option for teeth whitening.
Food and drink staining: Consuming tannin-rich drinks and foods such as red wine, coffee, tea, and dark berries that are heavily pigmented and can contribute to staining. Additionally, sugary foods feed the enamel-damaging bacteria on your teeth, making them more receptive to discoloration.
Tobacco product usage: All tobacco products make your teeth more susceptible to staining. The tar present in smoke, the abrasive nature of chewing tobacco, and the highly concentrated nicotine levels present in E-cigarettes (or Vape-Pens) can all cause damage to your teeth that results in discoloration.
Before deciding upon the best teeth whitening plan, Dr. Peikidis, your board-certified orthodontist, needs to understand what the root cause of your tooth discoloration is. This will help her ensure your teeth whitening meets your expectations, and helps her to identify sustainable lifestyle changes to prevent discoloration in the future.
The last thing you want after you finally get a smile you love is to watch your teeth become discolored again. Fortunately, you can help make sure it stays that way by following a few everyday habits:
Although some degree of darkening or discoloration is an inevitable part of the aging process, following these few simple guidelines can help to minimize the color change and maintain your beautiful, bright smile for many years to come!
Making the decision to work on the aesthetic appearance of your smile is a great first step, and you may be tempted to use at home whitening kits you see marketed online or in commercials. While some products, such as whitening toothpastes are generally safe and mildly effective, overusing home whitening products can have serious consequences including:
Dr. Peikidis is a board-certified orthodontist who is dedicated to providing you with customized and effective solutions for tooth discoloration and staining that place your safety and tooth health first. Call Peikidis Orthodontics in Bellmore, New York today at (516) 360-0520 or use our online form to schedule your tooth whitening consultation and make the bright smile you have dreamed of a reality!