Tooth discoloration is more of a cosmetic concern than an oral health concern, but an issue that impacts an individual in an abundance of ways. Discoloration causes stains on the teeth and may be the result of changes inside the tooth, foods/drinks that you consume, and other issues. Three main types of tooth discoloration are possible:
– Extrinsic: This discoloration occurs when the outer layer of the tooth, or enamel, becomes stained. Drinks like cola and coffee and foods cause tooth staining. Smoking is also responsible for the stands.
– Intrinsic: Darkening of the dentin is known as intrinsic discoloration. Teeth darken or tint yellow when intrinsic discoloration occurs. This type of discoloration occurs if you had too much fluoride during your childhood or if your mother used certain types of antibiotics during pregnancy. Tooth trauma, such as falls, during early childhood, a trauma in a permanent tooth, or dentinogenesis imperfecta, a rare condition.
– Age-related: Age-related discoloration occurs due to a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Dentin yellows as we age and the enamel wears thinner, allowing this dentin to show. Food, smoking, drinks, and other factors also stain the teeth as we age. The damaged pulp may also cause discoloration.
Tooth Discoloration Prevention
Brush your teeth after every meal to reduce the risk of tooth staining. Dentists also recommend rinsing your mouth with water after consuming coffee, cola, wine, and other drinks and foods that cause staining. Schedule regular dental appointments per the American Dental Association guidelines. Each dental exam includes cleanings that help remove tooth surface stains.
A root canal may prevent intrinsic stains caused by nerve or blood vessels in the tooth. Your dentist can remove the pulp before it decays and darkens; although there is still some risk, the tooth will still darken. Help prevent tooth discoloration in children by avoiding overexposure to fluoride. After enamel forms, fluoride will not cause discoloration.
Tooth Discoloration Prevention Tips
Apart from regular dental visits, professional teeth whitening service keeps teeth clean and free of discoloration. It’s one of the most common procedures used to keep teeth looking their best. This is a cosmetic dentistry in Colorado Springs service provided only when scheduled. As such, most insurance will not pay for the service.
Watch the foods and drinks that you consume. Avoid teeth-staining foods and beverages except on a rare occasion and be sure to brush your teeth (and rinse with water) after consumption. Using a straw also prevents dyes from setting on the teeth, which leads to discoloration. If you smoke, stop smoking now. Smoking is a primary cause of intrinsic tooth discoloration.