If you’re dealing with discoloration of the teeth, you have treatment options like teeth whitening. But first, let’s figure out the reason behind the issue.
Dr. Lisa Wyatt — as well as the rest of our staff at Metairie Village Dentistry — offer well-rounded care for all of our patients. To those ends, we need to understand the full reason behind your discolored teeth before you receive treatment for the issue.
The reasons for discolored teeth
First, don’t think your smile needs to be as white as those of movie stars, models, and other people you see on television. As the National Library of Medicine states, any tooth color that ranges from white to yellowish-white is perfectly healthy. So there is no need to think that something is seriously wrong if your teeth don’t sparkle exactly like your favorite actor.
However, if your teeth are starting to change in other ways, there could be a deeper problem. That could range from the color of one tooth changing to only the tops or the bottoms of your teeth changing color.
Here, we’ve compiled the five causes of discolored teeth.
1. Food and drink stains
The reasons behind discolored teeth are separated into extrinsic and intrinsic issues. Food and drink stains are extrinsic, and they are the most common causes of discolored teeth. Here are some of the foods and drinks that are most likely to cause discoloration:
- Dark soda
- Pasta, potatoes, and other starchy foods
- Red wine
- Dark berries and certain other fruits
2. Tobacco use
Smoking or chewing tobacco are also common causes of discolored teeth. Many people believe that they can smoke occasionally and avoid the side effects. But that isn’t true. Even minimal tobacco use causes staining.
Aging is another common cause of tooth discoloration. As you become older, the enamel on your teeth begins to wear away, which will often leave the yellow dentin underneath exposed.
4. Certain conditions
Plenty of illnesses and conditions can lead to discolored teeth. For one, not taking care of your oral health creates plaque buildup and causes discoloration. That goes hand-in-hand with gum disease. Here are several other conditions that might lead to discoloration:
- Congenital conditions
- An infection during pregnancy that led to poor enamel development in the womb
- The use of certain medications like chemotherapy, antihistamines, or antihypertensives
- Fluorosis, a condition caused by the introduction of too much fluoride
Sometimes, experiencing physical trauma can lead to discolored teeth. For example, if a child were to fall and hit their mouth while the teeth were still developing, that could lead to discoloration, as it disturbs the ability of the enamel to form properly. Discoloration also occurs in adults due to trauma, where a blow to the tooth causes the root to die.
Get help for discolored teeth today
Sometimes discoloration is a result of a surface issue, and other times it is a sign of an oral health issue. Either way, you deserve to know and receive treatment from our team. Call 504-827-1910 or set up an appointment for teeth whitening online to visit our Metairie, Louisiana, office.