Do you have dull or discolored teeth? Do they make you want to hide your smile, maybe talk with your hand in front of your mouth? Are you concerned it's more than just being in need of a cleaning? Don’t worry, you're not alone.
Many people believe that all they need is an over-the-counter whitening kit if their teeth seem discoloured. And often, that's all that's needed. However, the factors that had made your teeth "yellow" could indicate a sign of bad health or hygiene, or perhaps environmental influences.
There are many medicines or drugs that can change the color of your teeth. Minocycline (used in the long-term treatment of acne vulgaris, rosacea, rheumatoid arthritis, and periodontal disease) can turn them green-grey or blue-grey. The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline, antipsychotics, certain antihistamines, high blood pressure meds as well as mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can cause teeth discoloration.
Foods like candies, popsicles, tomato sauce, beets, curries, soy sauce and many more, if not properly cleaned can also change the color of your teeth.
Drinks are also common culprits when it comes to staining the teeth, especially those with high sugar and caffeinated beverages. Examples include energy and sports drinks, colas, wines, coffees, teas, and alcohol beverages.
Nicotine in its various forms; cigarettes, vape devices, and chewing tobacco can also discolor the teeth in a very short time as nicotine can aggressively damage the enamel. According to SAMHSA, tobacco chewing also causes gum disease, tooth loss, oral, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.
Genes are also another factor in this case. Many people may have acquired brighter and thicker enamel from their DNA.
As odd as it seems, too much fluoride is another source of staining of the teeth. This can come from your tap water in municipalities that add it or products like toothpaste and mouthwash. It is important to choose the right toothpaste for your teeth.
Though not as common, certain therapies for diseases such as head or neck radiation and chemotherapy can affect tooth color. And, believe it or not, babies may have the enamel on his or her teeth affected in utero if their mother develops certain infections while carrying them! Amazing!
More typical though is the unfortunate issue of aging for some people. As the enamel in their teeth wears down, the natural yellow color of the dentin beneath the enamel begins to show. Unsurprisingly, trauma to teeth can also cause a change in color whether you are a child or an adult.
But, as you might have guessed, the most common factor or cause of this situation is having poor oral hygiene.
Brushing and flossing regularly can help keep your teeth clean, white and bright. Consistent brushing and flossing, done daily activity, it will bring the natural white color of the teeth back to life!
There are easy ways to help you with keeping (or returning) your confident smile:
- Proper brushing and flossing at least twice a day
- Avoid stain-inducing food and beverage or clean your teeth right away
- Visit your dentist every 6 - 9 months for check-ups and cleanings
- In-office dental whitening
- At-home whitening products (CHECK WITH YOUR DENTIST FIRST)
- Dental Bonding
- Dental Veneers
Whatever the reason, if your smile isn’t what you’d like it to be, come in and see us. We’d love to give some ideas on how to make it better.