We always think of teeth as being white. Movie stars, cartoon characters and portraits always show dazzling white teeth. Then we look at our own teeth and see discoloration. Our teeth are not brilliant white. They are light gray, tinged with red, yellow or off-white. What causes teeth discoloration? The answer is not simple, because there are a variety of reasons.
Nobler to Suffer…
William Shakespeare had a way with words that has remained unequalled in many ways. But is it nobler to suffer.discolored teeth? The question, “What causes teeth discoloration?” has many answers.
- Chemical damage due to medications
- Coffee and tea
- Flouride in high quantities
- Inadequate dental hygiene
Medications are often a culprit, causing teeth discoloration by chemical reaction. Antibiotics like tetracycline, when given to children under 8 years old, can cause teeth to yellow or darken, especially around and above the gumline. Coffee, tea, tobacco and fluoride in excess can stain the enamel on your teeth. As we age, the enamel on our teeth can erode and expose the layer underneath which is naturally more yellow. Excessive fluoride can be administered through public water systems. It is also found in high concentrations in some mouth rinses and toothpastes. And of course, poor hygiene will result in dental plaque build up on the teeth, making them appear discolored. Finally, it could be a matter of genetics. Some people are fortunate and are born with white teeth, while others have naturally off-white colored teeth. What causes teeth discoloration? The answer is a lot of things can cause the problem.
It always seems some people have outrageous fortune; like being born with pearly white teeth and a perfect smile. But most of us are asking,”What causes teeth discoloration?” because we are looking for a solution to a personal problem. There are many things that we can do to limit unnatural teeth discoloration.
- Avoid foods and drinks that stain teeth
- Brush your teeth twice a day to prevent plaque accumulation
- Quit smoking (and not just to keep your teeth white)
- You can use toothpaste that has whitening agents, but if you do, make sure it does not have too much abrasive in it. Abrasives will wear away the tooth enamel over time.
Sea of Troubles
But even after doing these things, you may still be asking, “What causes teeth discoloration?” Aging, medications and genetics may overrule all your efforts to have and keep white teeth. If you feel as if you have a sea of troubles with your teeth, there are teeth whitening procedures that may solve your problems.
- At-home bleaching procedures using a molded tray and gel
- Bonding resin that changes color of teeth
- Porcelain veneers
- In-office laser whitening procedures
The best procedure for your situation will depend on the depth of the discoloration, the primary cause, your time schedule and the amount of money you are willing to spend. Asking, “What causes teeth discoloration?” opens up a whole world of possibilities. There is no reason to be dissatisfied with the color of your teeth. Visit your dentist and discuss the options.