As time goes by you may be noticing your teeth are becoming discolored. Yellowed teeth can cause you to feel self-conscious, stopping you from smiling, laughing, or possibly even talking to others. There are a few common causes of tooth discoloration. Many of these can be fixed easily with a few simple lifestyle changes. If the problem persists, the help of a dentist may be needed.
Six Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration
1. Food and Drinks
3. Poor Dental Hygiene
4. Disease and Medication
Diet and Discoloration
The most common cause of tooth discoloration is the food and drinks you are consuming. Colas, coffee, wine, and teas can all contribute to yellowing teeth. There are also many fruits and vegetables that can do this. Obviously the acids in these items can wear away the enamel on your teeth, but did you know apples and potatoes are big culprits? Smoking and chewing tobacco also leave unsightly stains on the teeth.
The Link to Health and Medication
There are many diseases that can affect the teeth. Certain treatments can also change the color of them like chemotherapy along with neck and head radiation. Medications will do this too such as Doxycycline and Tetracycline. Other drugs associated with yellowing teeth include high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and antipsychotic drugs. Mouth washes and rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine may also discolor teeth.
Time discolors teeth. As a person ages the enamel layer of the teeth wears away. This reveals the yellow color of the underlying dentin. Genetics play a role too. Even excessive exposure to fluoride over time can discolor teeth. Fluoride can be found in the water as well as in products you think of as helpful such as fluoride rinses, supplements, and toothpaste.
How to Stop It
To start, change your lifestyle. Simple changes prevent discoloration. Smokers and coffee drinkers can cut back, or better yet, quit completely. It’s important to be brushing regularly along with flossing. A dental Hygienist should be doing a thorough cleaning of the teeth every six months.
There are ways to whiten the teeth when all other options fail. You can get either over the counter or in office whitening treatments that can be quite effective. If the whitening agents aren’t helpful, veneers or bondings can be used as an alternative to regaining that beautiful smile.