Smile is one of the most important traits of personality. A bright shiny healthy smile always seems more attractive and welcoming. Yellow or dull teeth not only affect your smile but also hamper your confidence. Yellowing of teeth or discoloration usually happens gradually which makes it easy to become complacent with the change. Here at Oxnard center, we educate our patients and help them to keep their smiles healthy and shiny white. Yellowing or discoloration of teeth can happen due to multiple reasons. Let’s discuss some of them:
With age: With advancing age, the outer layer of teeth (enamel) naturally gets thinner, making the teeth appear more yellow. Genetic factors and family history also play a major role in the yellowing or discoloration of teeth. As you get older, the teeth start to form more dentin, thus reducing the size of the pulp (blood and nerve tissue) that decreases the translucent effect of teeth making it more yellow.
Loss of enamel: Along with age as an important factor, natural wear and tear due to chewing causes the yellow inner layer to expose making the teeth appear yellower. Discoloration or yellowing of teeth happens when the enamel starts to scrap off and more of the dentin begins to appear. Intentional grinding of teeth at night or bruxism can also cause loss of enamel and yellowing of teeth.
Diet: Extrinsic stains due to certain food items can affect the outermost hard layer of teeth. Drinking excessive black tea or coffee regularly or consuming food with dark curries and sauces can lead to external stains. These beverages contain chemicals known as tannins, which tend to leave their residues over the tooth surfaces causing discoloration. Drinking an excessive amount of acidic beverages like soda, fizzy drinks or red wine can also cause staining of teeth due to erosion or the outer hard layer. Certain fruits such as grapes, blueberries, beetroot, and pomegranates also have the potential to discolor your teeth due to the presence of chromogens, pigment-producing substances that can stick to the tooth surface. External staining is common to occur, but with a proper professional dental cleaning, these stains can be easily taken care of.
Smoking and tobacco chewing: Smoking and tobacco chewing are not only bad for health but also the tar from smoking causes severe damage to teeth as well as the oral cavity leading to gum problems and cancers in the oral cavity. Chronic smokers and habitual tobacco chewing often complain of dark yellow or ugly brownish stains with a bad breath and weak teeth.
Certain health conditions and medications: Certain diseases and medications can cause internal staining of teeth such as antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline in pregnant women and children during initial growth phases before the age of 8. In adults, vigorous use of mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine or use of anti-acne drugs such as minocycline can lead to yellowing of teeth. Fluoride is considered an important mineral for strengthening tooth enamel and prevention caries. On the other hand, getting too much fluoride can cause white streaks or brown spots on the teeth. Certain development disorders can also lead to the eruption of yellow or brown teeth.
Some ways to keep your teeth healthy and white:
– Proper oral hygiene practices with regular brushing and flossing
– Regular dental check-ups and professional dental cleanings
– Paying attention to what you eat and drink
– Avoid smoking and other bad habits.