Tooth Discoloration:

There are two main causes for tooth discoloration: Extrinsic and Intrinsic.

1- Extrinsic factors:

Diet: Many of our daily foods and beverages that we consume routinely daily contain coloring ingredients that cause staining on the teeth.

What can be done to minimize the coloring effect of food and drinks?

Many people like or need to eat or drink coloring foods (I personally love coffee). They always ask this question. There are some ways that can reduce the coloring effect and also beneficial to making whitening treatment more successful:

– Diluting the coffee and black tea with milk.

– Rinsing mouth immediately after consolation of coloring foods/drinks.

– Brushing teeth with a mild tooth paste (please do not use whitening tooth pastes due to the fact that abrasive particles inside the tooth paste will cause abrasion of superficial layer of tooth enamel).

Tobacco: Smoking is a very single important factor in tooth discoloration. These stains usually are limited to superficial layer off tooth (enamel) and can be removed easily with routine tooth cleaning. However, in some cases (especially with stains from cigarettes), they are a bit stubborn and penetrate slightly into tooth enamel and therefore should be removed with professional whitening treatments.

Oral Hygiene: Inadequate or poor oral hygiene is also an important factor for tooth discoloration. Plaque can build up quickly after cleaning the teeth and if they are not removed regularly they will mineralise and turn into calculus (tartar or build ups) which cause tooth discoloration.

Ageing: Ageing can also cause gradual change in teeth color so that they will look like more yellowish. This is due to progressive thinning of enamel which results in the inner yellow layer of tooth (dentin) to show through.

Fortunately, these type of discoloration respond to whitening treatments very well.

2- Intrinsic factors:

These are factors that cause discoloration from inside the tooth.

Trauma: Teeth may become darker after being traumatized. This is because of internal bleeding that cause blood cells penetrate into tooth. Also, trauma might lead to gradual calcification of root canal system of the tooth which give teeth a yellowish appearance.

Medications: Some medications like tetracycline if consumed during development of teeth have the ability to attach to the calcium molecule of tooth and cause a grey discoloration. Unfortunately, these discoloration are very resistant to whitening. Veneers or crowns can be fitted to mask these discoloration.

Illness: Some diseases with high fever, some congenitally or hereditary acquired conditions will cause teeth to discolor.

Fluoride: If you live to had lived in an area with high fluoride in soil or tap water, your teeth might develop white or brown spots called “fluorosis”.