What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Have you noticed that your teeth appear yellower, stained, or otherwise discolored? If you feel unhappy about your tooth color, you can speak to your dentist about dental treatments that will whiten your smile.

But ideally, you should preserve the natural, bright color of your teeth as much as you can. You can better protect the appearance of your smile when you know about the risks that could impact your pearly white teeth. Read on to learn about three of the factors that could leave you with discoloration on your teeth as well as how to avoid this aesthetic concern.

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3 Reasons You Form Dental Stains

Consuming Substances with Staining Agents

A major cause of dental discoloration is the consumption of foods, drinks, and other substances we put into our mouths that contain staining agents. For instance, dark-colored foods like red wine, coffee, and tea get their color from tannins.

This substance can transfer to your teeth when you eat or drink these items. And then they absorb into your tooth enamel and leave dark stains on the surface of your teeth that will not go away with your usual at-home dental care.

Tobacco can also stain your teeth this way, so avoid smoking or chewing these products to protect your smile. Though you can make efforts to reduce the risk of discoloration, you will not eliminate the danger entirely if you continue to use these products. So pay attention to your smile’s appearance if you consume items with potential staining agents.

Underlying Dental Issues

Tooth discoloration might also occur as a symptom of another dental problem. Cavities, a common structural dental issue, can appear as white, brown, or black spots on your teeth. They serve as indicators of where you sustained dental damage.

A dental injury could impact your tooth color too. For instance, a dental injury to your tooth pulp might restrict blood flow to a tooth, making it look dull in color. Call your dentist if you suffer a blow to the face or other dental emergency.

Poor oral hygiene might also affect the color of your smile. Lingering plaque and food particles can gradually make your tooth enamel dark or yellow. So stick to good oral habits and keep your smile clean and healthy.

Factors Outside Patient Control

Even proper at-home and in-office dental care might not be enough to completely avoid dental discoloration. Sometimes tooth stains occur due to factors outside of your control.

Some medications have the side effect of staining teeth permanently. Aging will also weaken the enamel of your teeth over time, making your teeth more susceptible to darkening or yellowing.

You should consult your dentist to find preventative care that will suit your unique oral health needs and preserve your smile’s appearance. Cosmetic dental solutions can enhance your tooth color if needed. But good oral health will protect your smile on multiple levels. Learn more by calling your dentist today.  

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