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Updated by Emma Kalman on Dec 08, 2016
Headline for Teeth Discoloration Secrets Revealed
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Emma Kalman Emma Kalman
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Teeth Discoloration Secrets Revealed

Very few people are lucky enough to have naturally beautiful white teeth. Most of us will find that our teeth gradually discolor with age. Here are the reasons!

1

Teeth

Teeth

Tooth discoloration can be put down to a number of different factors.
These include:

2

Smoking

Smoking

If you smoke or use any tobacco products, you will find your teeth discolor more quickly than non-smokers. This is because nicotine is yellowish colored and stains the surface of your teeth. In addition to this, nicotine also makes it easier for plaque to build up on your teeth. Hardened plaque or calculus is also quite yellow and increases the risk of gum disease.

3

Eating or drinking certain foods

Eating or drinking certain foods

Certain foods are well known for staining teeth, including tea and coffee, as well as red wine. However, eating lots of acidic foods can also increase the risk of tooth staining. This is because the acids soften your tooth enamel, making it easier for highly colored substances to penetrate the teeth.

4

Poor home dental care

Poor home dental care

Failing to brush and floss properly will allow plaque to build up on your teeth, increasing the amount of tooth softening acid in your mouth. This will enable any heavily colored or staining substances to have longer to penetrate your tooth surfaces.

5

Taking certain medications

Taking certain medications

Some medications in particular the antibiotic tetracycline and doxycycline, can discolor teeth when given to young children whose teeth are still developing. Certain mouthwashes also contain ingredients that can stain teeth which include cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine. These mouthwashes are often prescribed after dental surgery or to help deal with mouth infections.

6

Disease and infection

Disease and infection

There are some diseases that can affect tooth enamel and the underlying dentin, leading to discoloration. Sometimes, treatment for head and neck cancers can discolor teeth. Pregnant women who develop certain infections may find their children go on to have discolored teeth, as the infection can affect the development of tooth enamel.

7

Silver colored amalgam fillings

Amalgam is a silver colored material but can often discolor and become grayish in appearance.

8

Age and genetics

Age and genetics

These can both take their toll on the appearance of your teeth. Aging can mean the outer layer of tooth enamel gradually becomes thinner, revealing more of the natural dentin which tends to be darker in color. Some people are unlucky enough to have a thinner layer of tooth enamel than others.

9

Cause of your tooth discoloration

Cause of your tooth discoloration

Whatever the cause of your tooth discoloration, you can be sure that there is a solution available. Your dentists can identify the cause before suggesting a suitable solution. Sometimes this might be as simple as having your teeth professionally cleaned or trying to quit smoking.

It can make a difference if you modify your diet, or a hygienist can work with you to improve your oral hygiene at home.

Older style silver colored amalgam fillings can be replaced with more modern and much more pleasing cosmetic white fillings. These are virtually invisible and are a very healthy alternative to amalgam.
Sometimes teeth can be whitened through having them professionally bleached in a dental clinic, but if the stains are internal then dental veneers or top-quality all-ceramic crowns may be the answer.