Your smile is really important and is one of the first things people notice about you, more than anything else. However, it’s common for teeth to become discolored and to have yellow teeth over time, which can detract from that healthy smile. Tooth discoloration is a common problem, but fortunately there are solutions to bring back that white smile, today.
Aside from aesthetic perspective, yellow teeth can be a sign of more serious health conditions. It can be the cause of low self-confidence and can prevent people from showing their teeth and smile.
Yellow teeth is a common problem among people. However, knowing the causes can help you adjust some things in your lifestyle, to minimize or prevent it.
Causes of Yellow Teeth?
Coffee, tea and red wine are commonly known as guilty. But other drinks with high acidity, such as soda, juices and even sports drinks can cause staining on the teeth. Even white wine isn’t off the hook, because the tannins component of the white wine is acidic and can wear away at the tooth enamel.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products are harmful to the enamel of our teeth. The nicotine and tar in tobacco are what causes teeth yellowing. Although nicotine in itself does not cause yellowing, its combination with oxygen causes teeth discoloration.
Another component of tobacco that yellows the teeth is tar. When it accumulates on the oral cavity, it contributes to the yellowing of your teeth.
Colored candies, popsicles and other bright foods can cause staining over time. Think of it this way – if your tongue turns a bright shade of blue, chances are your teeth are getting some of that discoloration, too. Even healthy foods such as berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries) can stain teeth. Ketchup, curry and other sauces can cause staining problems over time, too.
As we age, it is inevitable that our teeth start to lose its natural coating called enamel, and the natural yellow color of the dentin structure, below enamel, gets revealed. So the longer you have your teeth, the more likely they are to become yellow or discolored.
Moreover, your teeth accumulate tartar as you age, caused by a possible gum recession and dental roots exposure, which contributes to turning your teeth yellow.
When your teeth decay because of damages such as breaking and cracking, the pulp tissue of your teeth turns to yellow.
Certain medications like tetracycline and doxycycline can cause your teeth to yellow. These drugs can affect the structure of your teeth. Other medications such as chlorhexidine (if used in excess) and other chemotherapy drugs can also cause teeth yellowing.
Fluorosis results from the excessive consumption of fluoride especially at the time when teeth are still forming. One symptom of fluorosis is the yellowing of teeth. This condition is common among children and may be incurred through accumulated intake of water and other drinks that contain fluoride.
Although not a serious disease, fluorosis causes the teeth to be unpleasantly discolored. This can be treated mainly through, veneers or crowns.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Certain dental practices such as brushing and flossing, when done wrong, may cause teeth yellowing. When you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque and tartar (calculus) buildups happen. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least one a day, in addition to visiting your dentist for regular cleaning can help prevent the formation of plaque and calculus deposits.
Some people are just born with natural yellow teeth. Genetics plays a big role in determining the appearance of your teeth. The enamel, the outer layer of your teeth, is what makes your teeth appear white. The thicker the enamel, the whiter your teeth appear.
The layer under the enamel is the dentin, which is naturally yellow in color. When you have a thin enamel, your dentin is more visible, which means that your teeth will appear more yellow.
What Can We Do About it?
Avoid Certain Foods/Drinks When Possible: We’re not asking you to stop your morning coffee, just to reduce the intake of the above foods as much as possible. Sometimes knowledge can help you make better choices.
Drink Water: After you’ve consumed a tooth-staining food or drink try to immediately follow it with a glass of water. Swirling water around your mouth can drastically help clear away the acids or staining. This simple step is free and easy, and can drastically help reduce tooth discoloration.
Proper Dental Hygiene: Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups help keep teeth healthy for a lifetime. Develop these habits early and you’re less likely to have dental problems down the line.
Teeth Whitening: The good news is that there are many options available to whiten teeth. ZOOM! In-Office teeth whitening can be done during a single office visit with drastic change and results, in addition to other restorative options, available today. Do not hesitate to contact us and talk to Dr.Miski to determine which solution is best for you.