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Teeth Discoloration and Stains: Causes and Prevention

Teeth Discoloration and Stains: Causes and Prevention

People judge us by how we look. It is a harsh reality that the color of our teeth affects how we look. Even though human teeth are not meant to be the whitest of the white shades but most people expect them to be. There are numerous factors that contribute to teeth loosing their luminosity. This is the reason why the concept of a perfect smile has gained so much popularity over the years and so do the process of teeth whitening.

Today, we’ll look at those factors that are prime culprits for teeth discoloration and the prevention strategies to avoid your teeth from getting stained while keeping them healthy.

Teeth Discoloration

When you talk about the teeth, there is more than just the outer surface. So is the case with teeth discoloration. Generally, teeth staining is classified into two different types. They are:

  • Intrinsic stains: These stains are formed on deeper surfaces of the tooth during tooth formation or after an eruption. It means that these stains are inside the tooth, which cannot be removed by oral hygiene practices, whitening toothpaste, or strips. Instead, professional help is required to treat them.
  • Extrinsic stains: These stains are formed over the outer surface of the tooth and affect the enamel and are much easier to treat. The external factors that include certain foods, medication, and tobacco are primarily behind this problem.

Causes and Prevention of Intrinsic Stains

Fluorosis

Fluorosis is excessive uptake of fluoride or digestion of fluoride during teeth or enamel development. These are chalky white opaque patches on the tooth structure. Excessive fluoride may be taken by utilizing hard water that has high fluoride content or some supplements containing fluoride. It can be prevented by avoiding intake of water having a high content of fluoride from birth till five years of age.

Tetracycline Stains

Tetracycline is an antibiotic to treat bacterial infections of a whole host of organ systems like skin, genitalia, intestines, and lymph nodes. Excessive use of this drug causes tetracycline to bind with calcium and cause stains.

Tetracycline should not be prescribed to pregnant patients and children under the age of 8 years because teeth begin to calcify when the fetus is just four weeks old in the uterus and some of the permanent teeth do not finish calcifying until the age of 8 years.

Trauma/Injury

If a person has a single discolored front tooth and all the other teeth are bright and shiny, it sticks out and spoils the whole smile. The most common cause is trauma or injury to the discolored tooth. The discoloration occurs due to the broken blood vessels due to trauma in the pulp area of the tooth, the nerves are also damaged so the hot and cold sensation of that tooth is lost. In such a case, it’s best to refer to a professional expert for teeth whitening options.

Causes and Prevention of Extrinsic Stains

Bad Oral Hygiene

If a person does not follow a proper oral hygiene routine and does not brush or floss their teeth, it will lead to the formation of plaque and tartar on the tooth surface. It can only be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. If the teeth have too much plaque on them, then only a dentist can help you to remove the plaque from the teeth by treatment procedures.

Food and Beverages

Foods like tea, coffee, colas, red wines, blueberries, ketchup, vinegar, beetroot, and some curries leave stains on the teeth. These things are acidic in nature, which open the pores of the teeth and allow the color to soak in

You can use a straw while sipping dark-flavored beverages, which minimizes contact with your teeth. Anything in moderation is fine and also brushing immediately after consuming such foods can help prevent the stains to occur.

Tobacco Products

People who smoke and utilize tobacco products are at high risks of bad breath, teeth staining, gum disease, loss of taste and smell, development of plaque, risk of oral cancer, etc. The tar and nicotine present in tobacco cause the staining of teeth. It becomes very difficult for the affected one to maintain white teeth oral hygiene.

Prevention is to quit smoking, get dental checkups every six months, and get your teeth polished and scaled to have a smooth appearance.

The cause and effect of teeth staining vary for different people. But if your teeth have lost their shine and you are dreaming of a healthier and brighter smile, The Dome MedDental Clinic is the right place.

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