Tooth discoloration and staining can cause embarrassment and self-consciousness. There are many causes of tooth discoloration, some within your control and some not. Here is a short list of some causes and possible cures:
- Drinks: Coffee and tea tend to stain teeth, especially when sipped over a prolonged period of time. Periodic professional cleanings and in-office tooth whitening will reverse these effects.
- Smoking/Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco have a negative effect on tooth color, gingival health, and breath. The best treatment is to quit smoking. Again, periodic in-office cleanings and professional tooth whitening can minimize the discoloring effects of smoking.
- Dental Restorations: Metal restorations tend to breakdown at the edges (margins) and may reduce the transparency of tooth enamel. For a nice aesthetic appearance, replacing metal fillings with tooth colored composites or porcelains reverses these effects. Even tooth-colored restorations are subject to stains with time and may need replacement.
- Age: As we get older there is a cumulative effect of tooth staining. The outer tooth enamel wears down with time, causing teeth to turn yellow. Porcelain veneers or dental bonding can replace the worn layer and restore that once lost youthful smile. In some cases, tooth whitening may be an appropriate solution.
- Chemicals and Medications: During the tooth development of a child, certain antibiotics such as tetracycline or excessive ingestion of fluoride can cause permanent tooth staining. Though these stains cannot be cleaned or whitened, porcelain veneers or composite bonding can give the stained teeth a new look.
In addition to the causes listed above, trauma and genetics play a role in changing tooth color. Keep your teeth whiter and brighter by regular dental cleanings (which usually include stain removal and polishing) and ask us about our cosmetic options to get that right smile.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200B
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
Thank you for all your referrals. We truly appreciate them.
Information included is not dental or medical advice. For your specific information
be sure to consult your dentist.
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