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Tooth Discoloration

One of the most common complaints about someone's teeth is the color of them. The good news is that this is one of the easiest and quickest complaints to fix in the dental world! But, before you can treat the discolored teeth, you have to understand how they got discolored in the first place.

There are three main categories of dental discoloration; extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related. Extrinsic discoloration involves things that we consume on a daily basis that's causing teeth stains. Intrinsic discoloration is when the inner structure of a tooth darkens or becomes a yellow tint. And lastly, there is the age related dental discoloration.

One common cause of discolored teeth is staining from the foods and drinks that we consume on a daily basis. This is an extrinsic coloration. Do you drink coffee? Red wine? Sodas? Teas? If so, you are causing your teeth to stain. Smoking is another extrinsic cause of tooth discoloration.

Intrinsic discoloration is when the inside of the tooth, or the dentin, turns yellow making your teeth discolored. One cause of intrinsic discoloration is excessive usage of fluoride in the early childhood years. Another cause is consumption of tetracycline antibiotics in children under 8 and during pregnancy. And lastly, having a root canal on a tooth can also cause a tooth to change to a darker color.

The last cause of dental discoloration is age. Age coloration is typically a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic discolorations building over time. Also, as we age, our enamel (or the outside coating of our teeth) gets thinner, causing our dentin to show through. Over the years, the foods and beverages we consume start to build up a stain. If not dealt with, this extrinsic discoloration becomes more and more discolored.

So now that you know what is causing your teeth to discolor let's go over how you can prevent having your teeth get discolored in the first place. For starters, brushing twice a day and flossing will help remove stains at the beginning of when they are formed! Second, make sure you see your dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning! A hygienist will professionally clean your teeth and can sometimes remove the stains that you have built since your last cleaning. And lastly, limiting staining foods, drinks and smoking will also minimize your chances of discoloration. To prevent intrinsic discoloration, make sure to avoid excessive fluoride in young children. If you are concerned about the amount of fluoride in your drinking water at home, call your local public health department, then consult your dentist.

If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth, talk to your family dentist. There are multiple different options to whiten your teeth. These possible treatments have a wide range in cost and invasiveness. Possibly the easiest is to whiten your teeth. This could include at home with whitening strips, at home with custom trays and bleach, and in office bleaching with an ultraviolet light. (Whitening toothpaste may remove minor stains, but typically are not very effective). Bonding, veneers, and crowns are also possible treatment for discoloration.

If you or someone you know is unhappy with the color of their teeth, call Dr Fattahi and his staff at Hamilton Dental Group! They will evaluate your teeth, and help you get them back to the color you want them to be!

discolored toothWhat Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Teeth become discolored for different reasons:

What Can Be Done About Tooth Discoloration?

The four most common remedies for tooth discoloration are:

Each patient must be evaluated individually, so Contact Us to set up a consultation.Dr. Fattahiwill discuss the appropriate options with you for your particular case.