Top Causes of Tooth Discoloration and Staining
Do you feel self-conscious about your teeth color? Are you hesitant to smile or show your teeth in public? Tooth discoloration and staining are prevalent dental issues among millions. It affects people regardless of age, gender, or oral hygiene habits.
Some cases of tooth discoloration can be prevented or reversed. This is achievable with proper dental care. However, other cases require professional treatment. It helps improve the appearance and health of your teeth. The top causes of tooth discoloration and staining include:
Food and Drink
The consumption of highly pigmented or acidic foods and drinks causes teeth discoloration and staining. These substances can stain the enamel of your teeth and weaken their structure. This makes them more susceptible to decay and erosion.
But you do not have to avoid these foods and drinks altogether. You can minimize their staining effect by drinking through a straw, rinsing your mouth with water afterward, and brushing your teeth. You can also chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva production.
Tobacco usage harms your overall health and causes severe tooth discoloration and staining. Nicotine and tar can penetrate the pores of your enamel and leave yellow or brown stains that are difficult to remove with regular brushing or whitening toothpaste.
Tobacco use can also cause bad breath, gum disease, and oral cancer. These can further damage your oral health and appearance. To avoid tooth discoloration, you must quit using tobacco products or smoking.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is a major culprit in teeth discoloration. It typically allows plaque, tartar, and bacteria to accumulate on your teeth and gums. Left untreated, these substances can cause yellow or brown stains. They can also cause:
These often compromise the structure and function of your teeth. To maintain healthy and white teeth, it's essential to:
Brush your teeth twice a day
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Visit your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups
Certain medications or medical conditions can also discolor your teeth temporarily or permanently. For example, antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline can cause brown or gray stains on developing teeth.
Antihistamines, blood pressure drugs, and chemotherapy agents can cause dry mouth. Insufficient saliva can lead to tooth decay and discoloration. Inform your dentist any over-the-counter medications you are taking. They will advise on how to avoid tooth discoloration.
Genetics and Aging
Some people may be genetically predisposed to tooth discoloration. Their teeth naturally have a darker or yellowish hue due to their inherited genes. Also, teeth tend to lose their natural whiteness with age. They become more brittle, thin, and translucent. It increases their susceptibility to stains and cracks.
While you cannot change your genetics or age, you can take some steps. You can help maintain your oral health and minimize the effects of tooth discoloration. You can avoid smoking, maintain good oral hygiene, and seek professional dental treatments.
For more on tooth discoloration and staining causes, visit The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at our offices in Destin, Panama City Beach, or Navarre, Florida. Call 850-810-0300, 850-810-0600, or 850-409-6400 to book an appointment today.
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