Many people, who have or do not have dental problems
, may suffer from teeth discoloration. This is mainly a cosmetic problem that occurs when the enamel or the dentine become discoloured or stained. Discoloured teeth can appear yellow, brown or even grey in colour. Some may have overall discoloration while others have dark spots on their teeth. Such ugly tooth stains can cause great embarrassment and keep people from smiling. There are basically two types of tooth stains: extrinsic and intrinsic.
Also known surface stains, extrinsic stains are caused when outside elements cling on to the surface of the tooth. The good news is that you can always prevent these stains.
What causes it?
- Smoking and chewing tobacco – These two are sure-shot ways of ruining your teeth colour to yellow or brown and eventually even black.
- Food and drink – Coffee, tea, soda and red wine, berries, curries, soya foods and drinks of extreme temperature can cause tooth stains.
- Lack of oral hygiene – Generally speaking, bad oral habits will negatively affect your teeth's health. Discoloration is just another side-effect of inefficient dental care.
Intrinsic staining is staining of the inner layers of teeth. It is usually caused by an internal problem or from certain medications that were taken during the formation of the teeth. Intrinsic staining is harder to treat than extrinsic staining. What causes it?
Prevention and Treatment
- Drugs – Some antibiotics such as Tetracycline, Minocycline, Doxycycline can cause discoloration in children and adults if used during tooth formation. Even some mouthwashes such as Chlorhexidine may also leave behind teeth discoloration.
- Trauma – Damaged teeth can darken and attain a blackish colour due to enamel damage or a dead nerve.
- Genetics and aging – Some people are just born with tooth discoloration, wear and tear will contribute to tooth discoloration over time. However, treatments that correct such discolouration are successfully available at your dentist.
- Dental fluorosis – Fluoride is incredibly important in preventing tooth decay. But too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, a condition that causes white spots or lines on the teeth. Fluorosis usually occurs in people who grow up in areas where drinking water contains excess fluoride.
- Dental cavities– Tooth decay is often evident in brown or black spots on teeth.
Although some tooth discoloration is inevitable, there are ways to prevent it.
- Consumption of non-staining food - Avoid consuming foods and drinks that contribute to teeth discoloration on a regular basis. Don't smoke or chew tobacco and ask your physician for a replacement of a medicine that can cause tooth discolouration.
- Teeth Whitening – Gels, toothpastes, strips; there are a whole lot of at-home teeth whitening techniques you can try, under the supervision of your dentist. Tooth whitening can also be done by your dentist at the dental office. You can also brush your teeth using India’s best toothpaste - Meswak to avoid any other dental problems and to maintain your teeth colour.
- Ultrasonic Cleaning – Ultrasonic dental cleaning, a professional process available at the dentist’s clinic, performed during regular dental visits, can reduce tooth stains.
- Dental Veneers – Dental veneers are wafer-like tooth coverings often made of porcelain that are cemented onto teeth. These veneers are colour-matched in a way that you can have sparkling white teeth.
- Laser Teeth Whitening – In laser teeth whitening, a laser uses heat to activate the teeth whitening agents and gives excellent results in a shorter amount of time. This procedure is readily available at the dental clinic.
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