Teeth are the most appealing part of your smile. Dental issues may affect your confidence, especially when you need to flaunt your smile.
Teeth are naturally a slight shade of yellow and when this natural color of the teeth changes to a darker shade, they are referred to as discolored, stained or yellow teeth.
These stains or discoloration can be classified into three different categories, as mentioned below.
When the external enamel layer gets thin, the internal layer called dentin is exposed. The inner layer is naturally a darker shade of yellow. Moreover, when this layer develops stains (intrinsic stains),it becomes tougher to deal with and remove.
When the outer part of the tooth called the enamel gets stained due to regular activities like eating or drinking, these are called extrinsic stains. They are much easier to deal with and can be easily removed by maintaining a regular oral hygiene.
These kinds of stains or discoloration are mostly a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic stains. They occur due to the weakening of the enamel and development of the erosion due to aging. Since the stains affect the inner layer of dentin, it is tough to deal with needing whitening treatment.
Nowadays, discoloration of teeth has become a common problem in almost all age group. It occurs due to various reasons and can be identified with few simple methods. Some of them are given below:-
• By checking in the mirror: You can easily identify the discoloration of your teeth by looking in the mirror. If your teeth are yellow in color or has stain on them, then it means that you have teeth discoloration problem.
• Bleeding gums: Teeth discoloration primarily occurs due to the unhygienic condition of your mouth. This condition can further cause several problems and bleeding gums is one of them. Bleeding from the gums starts when you touch your gums or brush your teeth. Blood creates pus in your mouth leading to discoloration of teeth.
• Swelling in the gums: Teeth discoloration can also happen due to swelling in your gums. It is caused by the infection in your gums.
• Weak gums: The vessels maintain a good blood supply in your gums, leading to healthy teeth. Any injury or weakness in these veins interrupts the blood supply in the gums, thus causing discolored and stained teeth.
• Plaque deposition: Plaques on your teeth means that you are not cleaning your teeth properly. Plaques actually are the bacteria which can cause foul smell and discoloration of teeth.
Teeth discoloration can be easily identified in the front set of teeth. You need proper dental check-up to identify the discoloration of your teeth in your inner set of teeth. Identification of these signs helps in the treatment.
Stained teeth often don’t need immediate medical help, however, unless the staining bothers your appearance or indicates towards an underlying condition.
It is essential to consult a dentist if you notice the following signs.
• Pain or bleeding
• Abnormal color without any cause
• Persistent stain even after cleaning the teeth regularly
Pain in tooth along with black spots,may suggest a cavity which needs immediate attention.
Cavities are overlooked in the initial stage when it is superficial and doesn’t produce pain. When u start feeling pain, it has already reached an advanced stage where it affects the nerves.
So, the presence of dark spots, especially in the chewing surface of the teeth, shouldn’t be ignored. The condition can complicate and may need a dental procedure or tooth removal as a solution.
When you start to observe the signs of tooth discoloration, you should opt for
• Home remedies
• Improve your oral hygiene
• Consult a doctor to understand more about it and undergo any treatment if necessary
You may develop stained teeth due to certain lifestyle factors, diseases, or even medicines.
Some of the causes of teeth stains are as follows:
Food and drinks play an important role in teeth staining. Dark-colored food and beverages contain a substance called tannin, which may stain the teeth upon regular intake for a long time.
Some of the food and beverages that can cause stains include:
• Certain fruits and vegetables including starchy vegetables like potatoes
• Colas and Sodas
• Berries with stains like blueberry or blackberry
• Dark sauces like tomato sauce for pasta
• Curry and its related spices
• Foods and drinks containing dye or coloring
Regular use of any tobacco product ranging from cigarettes to chewing tobacco can cause stains.
Poor dental hygiene habits may cause the deposition of plaques in the teeth due to the leftover food. This may become a permanent coating called calculus, which needs a dentist’s attention.
One of the factors that are out of our control, which leads to staining, is aging. With age, the enamel layer gets thinner, exposing the inner dark yellow or brown coating. This is why the teeth often look discolored or yellow as we get old
Teeth color is associated with genetics and can often be similar to parents. Other genetic factors that can cause stained teeth include the strength and thickness of the enamel and how it responds to food or other particles.
Conditions such as
• Tooth decay-tend to cause discoloration and erosion of teeth.
• Enamel hypoplasia– affects the outer covering of teeth, causing staining.
• Celiac disease– may cause permanent white, yellow or brown stains with issues such as poor enamel formation, pitting of teeth and translucent looking teeth
• Medical procedures– such as radiation and chemotherapy can often lead to gum and teeth problems along with discoloration in the teeth.
• Dental procedures– using amalgams that contain silver sulfide may cast a grey-black stain on the teeth.
Consuming certain types of medication can cause stained teeth.
• Tetracycline– Children under the age of 8, with developing teeth, may face a high risk of teeth discoloration and stain when tetracycline (an antibiotic) is consumed. Mothers who consumed tetracycline during pregnancy can impact the risk of permanently stained teeth to kids.
• Chlorhexidine mouthwash– chlorhexidine may cause an increase in calculus formation if the teeth are not cleaned of plaque completely.
• Anti-allergy medicines (anti-histamines), antipsychotic medicines, and certain blood pressure medication can cause discolored teeth.
Exposure to excess fluoride either from high fluoride water or the use of fluoride-containing products can cause white stains and, in severe cases, cause pitting, brown spots, and damage to the enamel. If you have high fluoride water, you should avoid using the fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash,and other fluoride supplements.
Injury or damage to the teeth possibly from a fall can interrupt the enamel formation and damage the nerve, causing less blood flow and discoloration.
Dentists are usually experienced and often understand the reason behind the stain or the discoloration.
Your dentist would ask the following questions:
• Oral hygiene routine being followed
• Consumption of tobacco products
• Pain or bleeding associated with staining
• Past records of any dental issues
• Medicines being used
Your dentist observes the teeth closely using a powerful beam of light and a tiny mirror. It helps to figure out the issue and to chart a course of treatment.
The dentist might also scrape the surface of the teeth. It helps to anticipate the type of deposit present on the teeth.
It doesn’t take a lot of time for a dentist to figure out the problem and to suggest a treatment.
There are various dental procedures that a dentist can perform to whiten your teeth. Different procedure is done according to the type of stain and your preference.
Stained teeth are noticed easily. You can take countermeasures before they worsen enough to require a professionals help.
Most of the stains occur due to a lack of oral hygiene.
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