Everyone strives for a perfect white smile. But did you know there are many natural tooth shades? Tooth color is actually determined by genetics and varies from bluish-white to grayish-white. This initial shade depends on the composition, structure, and density of the building tooth tissue.
Over time, due to the action of many mechanical, chemical, or biological factors, the tooth color changes. This discoloration can occur during life for several reasons. Some unhealthy habits can leave consequences on the teeth but also endanger health if not limited. Whatever the reason, it’s good to know that most of them can be affected by good oral hygiene and dental and gum health care.
The treatment used in most discoloration cases is teeth whitening. If there are no other oral health issues, you can opt for at home teeth whitening using specific products or kits. This procedure is safe, but in most cases, a visit to the dentist is a better choice. So, before you decide on a whitening treatment, it’s good to know which things are ruining your smile.
One of the many reasons why you could have yellow teeth is a poor diet. You might notice that the enamel begins to wear away after a while. The biggest problems are carbonated, sweetened drinks and other colored food. These are primarily red wine, tea, dark juices, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
This discoloration can result from certain foods such as those rich in vitamins C and D, calcium, or iron. Even pickles and crackers made from refined, simple carbs can cause a lot of damage to the enamel.
Sodas contain sodium bicarbonate, which is one of the main culprits in tooth staining. These are generally not good for you, and their excessive use can also produce permanent tooth discoloration. You can do yourself a favor and cut sugary drinks. One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to drink water instead of them.
One of the most severe triggers of yellow teeth is the use of strong medicines. Certain medications, including acne treatments, certain cancer drugs, antihistamines, and antipsychotic drugs, can result in tooth changing color. As indicated on these drugs, most of them have a number of side effects besides discoloration.
Antibiotics that are yellow (erythromycin, tetracycline, and doxycycline) can also turn your teeth yellowish. If the changed color on the enamel results from an antibiotic reaction, seek your dentist and doctor’s help as soon as possible.
There are two layers on every tooth: the dentin and the enamel. The dentin is the thicker, outer layer that protects the sensitive inner building of the tooth. The dentin itself is colorless, so once the yellow stains appear, it shows that the internal structure of your teeth has started to break down. That can lead to the formation of tooth decay (cavities).
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Cavities are the enamel holes that allow bacteria to enter inside and cause teeth to change color. In the initial phase, the decay causes chalky turbidity of white enamel. When neglected, the tooth takes on darker brown-black shades. That’s especially visible in chronic tooth decay, where the whole tooth can turn brown or even black.
Light yellow dental plaque appears when the combination of minerals and food residues deposit on the superficial deposits on the tooth. Its shade changes depending on the type and amount of colored compounds.
You can’t remove stubborn deposits by merely brushing your teeth. That requires only professional cleaning. Plaque removal is simple and painless and can me your teeth white again and improve their look. Only after that treatment, whitening treatment is possible.
A dental crown can also cause teeth discoloration. These structures, designed to cover a decayed tooth, can also become yellow over time. That’s a result of decaying materials within the crown. Discolored dental caps weaken and can make it difficult to properly align and straighten a tooth.
Cigarettes are one of the main contributors to tooth discoloration. As stated above, certain chemicals in them can harm the enamel over time. Further, smoking exposes the underlying root of the tooth to high levels of hydrogen peroxide, which can result in stained teeth.
As a result of smoking, not only will your teeth look bad, but they’ll become weak and prone to cavities. Try to quit smoking if you want to avoid these issues. If you are a heavy smoker, it’s strongly recommended that you reduce the number of cigarettes per day.
Bad Techniques of Flossing and Brushing
The right dentist will recommend that you practice daily oral hygiene practices to avoid staining of the teeth. These practices include regular flossing and brushing at least twice a day. Suppose your dental hygiene is impeccable, but you still notice yellow teeth. That may be due to improper flossing or a lack of hydrogen peroxide in your dental care products.
By using dental floss regularly, you are removing small pieces of food that stay between teeth. These will cause plaque or build up later. Flossing is an essential action in ensuring that your teeth remain healthy and thoroughly cleaned.
Hydrogen peroxide is present in most kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes. It causes a bleach-like whitening effect, because of which your teeth look sparkly after washing. But if you use dental care products that don’t contain this ingredient, the bleaching effect won’t be noticeable. It will cause your teeth to become stained again.
Genetics is often a discoloration cause, as the condition tends to run in families. One of the genetically determined things is the strength of the enamel. If it’s softer, it is more susceptible to bacterial penetration, which leads to easier caries.
Teeth discoloration can happen to anyone at some point in life. In order to deal with this more easily and even prevent the appearance of yellow teeth, you have to adhere to healthy habits and proper oral hygiene.