As you age, you may notice that your teeth are no longer as white as they were, or as you would like. Teeth discoloration is an inevitable part of the process of aging. Luckily, having yellow teeth is nothing to be worried about as far as your health is concerned.
However, in our society, discolored teeth have a bad reputation, as healthy teeth are considered bright white. Since the health of your teeth and gums is not necessarily the cause of teeth yellowing, let’s take a look at a few factors that cause your teeth to appear less white.
Food and drink
Certain foods and drinks cause teeth discoloration. Beverages such as cola, coffee, red wine, tea, and foods rich in pigments like chocolate, curry spices, and cherries can stain your teeth. Food tends to stick on your teeth enamel; this favors bacteria growth that causes teeth discoloration.
One of the long-term effects of using tobacco products such as cigarettes is teeth discoloration. Tar and nicotine contain agents that may accelerate teeth discoloration.
Yellowing of teeth is part of aging. The enamel, which is the white protective coating of the tooth, wears away, exposing the yellow dentin. The dentin is the layer below the tooth enamel; it is hard and yellow.
It is possible to inherit some genes that will make your tooth enamel appear yellow. Heredity is the main reason some people will have thick enamel, whereas others will have thin enamel. The thickness of the tooth enamel is a crucial determinant of teeth color. People with a thin layer of enamel are likely to have discolored teeth.
Poor oral hygiene
Poor brushing and flossing habits can cause plaque and tartar to build up, which accelerates your teeth’ discoloration.
Some antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline have been linked with teeth discoloration in developing children. These antibiotics can cause permanent striation in children under the age of 8. On the other hand, antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and blood pressure drugs can stain adult teeth. Also, treatments such as chemotherapy cause teeth discoloration.
How to avoid yellow teeth
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Avoid smoking.
- Use a straw for drinking beverages that are likely to stain your teeth for the drink to bypass your front teeth.
- Rinse your mouth after eating or drinking.
Professional teeth whitening
It is essential to have a dentist examine your teeth and recommend a suitable whitening method. Professional whitening treatments can protect and improve the appearance of your teeth. Some of the whitening treatment options include teeth cleaning, bleaching, and dental veneers. Dental cleaning, also known as scaling, involves removing plaque and accumulated tartar from the surface of the teeth. Also, teeth whitening can be done through the application of bleach directly to your teeth, which improves the color of your teeth. On the other hand, dental veneers are ideal for dental stains that do not respond to surface teeth whitening. Dental veneers are made of porcelain and are permanently attached to your teeth’ surface to improve the appearance of your teeth.
At Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer whitening treatments and cosmetic options, like veneers, in Alpharetta, GA, Cumming, GA, Atlanta, GA, and Forsythe, GA.
Contact us for more information or questions you may have about your dental needs.