Most people brush and floss in order to remove food and other particles and to keep their teeth white and healthy. However, food is not the only cause of tooth stains. There are three main reasons for tooth discoloration, including stained enamel from outside sources such as food, discoloration from inside the tooth and age-related, which is a combination of the first two.
Extrinsic or outside tooth stains are caused by coffee, tea, cola, wine and other colored foods. Acidic foods such as lemons and tomatoes can erode the enamel, causing stains to form. Sugar from candy, drinks and other foods remain on your teeth and are the main source of food for the bacteria that stain and rot your teeth. Blackberries, blueberries and pomegranates may be very good for your health, but as with any food that stains clothing, it can also stain your teeth.
To avoid or reduce staining from extrinsic causes, it is recommended to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking any of these delicious items. Another tip is to use a straw whenever possible to keep the colorful liquids away from your teeth. There are foods that don’t stain your teeth such as apples and other fibrous foods, strawberries, cheese and nuts. Brushing with baking soda once a week can help to keep extrinsic tooth stains away.
Intrinsic staining may occur for several reasons. If you had too much exposure to fluoride in childhood, your teeth may discolor. Tetracycline antibiotic may discolor teeth if it is used during the second half of pregnancy for the mother and during the first eight years of life for the child. Trauma or injury to a tooth during childhood can result in the discoloration of that tooth.
Age-related tooth discoloration may be caused by the natural yellowing of the dentin over time. As a person ages, the enamel becomes thinner, allowing foods and smoke to stain them more easily.
Fortunately, there are treatments for stained teeth to make them bright and white again. A simple cleaning by our dentist or hygienist may remove coffee and tea stains. If stains are deeper, it may require professional gels and stain removers. If the stains are intrinsic, it may require a veneer to cover the tooth or simply to replace the stained tooth with a crown.
During a consultation with our dentist at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry, the stains on your teeth may be evaluated. We can determine the type of stains you have and see if our teeth whitening treatment can help you get back your brilliant smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Champions Gate or Winter Haven!