Tooth Discoloration - The Causes And How To Fix It

Published: 16th January 2009
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From smoking to the consumption of too much coffee, wine or colas, from being highly exposed to tetracycline antibiotics to aging, a lot of reasons cause tooth discoloration and there are also methods through which it can be treated as well as prevented.

A lot of things come together in order to cause the discoloration of teeth, and even though at times it's just one primary cause which stains them, we're mostly talking about more than one factor. According to the dental physicians, there are three main kinds of teeth discoloration: intrinsic discoloration, extrinsic discoloration and age-related discoloration.

When a person drinks coffee too often or even drinks wine and cola every now and then, he or she may end up suffering from extrinsic teeth discoloration, in which the outer layer of the teeth, the enamel, becomes stained. Consumption of some vegetables and fruits like potatoes and apples can also be responsible for extrinsic teeth discoloration. Poor dental hygiene, which is represented by inadequate flossing and brushing, is a huge reason which makes teeth discolor and stain. Even smoking causes this sort of teeth discoloration, and this is a mild and a less serious form which can be fixed with ease and simplicity.

Applying a bleaching agent to the enamel of the teeth will help whiten them, and there are many ways in which this can be done. There are peroxide gels available which are meant for teeth whitening, and these can be found in various levels of concentration. The highly concentrated peroxide gels are used by the professional dentists and the trained technicians who apply the gel on the teeth of the patient and keeps it on for about fifteen to twenty minutes for several times in order to whiten the teeth. At times, the patient is required to visit the dentist more than once and sometimes it's recommended to use home whitening kits in order to make sure that their teeth stay white for a longer period of time.

There are over the counter teeth whitening products available as well, which work well with the extrinsic form of teeth discoloration, and these gels are the low concentrated peroxide formulas. These are less expensive and safer to use, as they never cause burning of gums or lips unlike the highly concentrated gels.

Then intrinsic form of teeth discoloration is far more serious than the extrinsic one, as this one causes the inner layer of the teeth to darken and that is when the tooth yellows. The causes of tooth discoloration of this sort are far more complicated as well. When a pregnant mother uses tetracycline antibiotics, it causes teeth discoloration to the child and when children younger than the age of eight are exposed to tetracycline as well as doxycycline antibiotics, it also causes intrinsic teeth discoloration. Over-exposure to fluoride chemicals in the early years of childhood is one important reason of intrinsic tooth discoloration. For instance, some of the mouth washes and rinses contain chemicals which cause the staining of teeth.

The best way to treat intrinsic teeth discoloration is laser dental surgery, which is quite expensive. Not many people can afford this, but when it is absolutely necessary, one should go for this option, as this is sure to make the teeth white immediately and the teeth will continue to remain sparkling white for a very, very long time. In this procedure, a professional dentist makes use of laser lights to whiten the teeth and some patients claim that they experience shooting pains due to laser whitening. However, most go through the process without any abnormal feelings and dentists do provide gels and other few medicines in order to help the teeth and the gums right after the laser whitening. It is strictly instructed that after going through laser whitening, one is not to consume cold or hot food or drinks within 48 hours.

There are several diseases which cause the discoloration of teeth, and these ailments can be responsible for both intrinsic and extrinsic teeth discoloration, as the medicines tend to affect both the enamel and the dentin layers. Some people have brighter or yellowish teeth due to genetic causes and some get stains due to some accident they have suffered, such as a fall during their childhood or even adulthood. Even grinding of teeth and jaws, which happen due to stress causes teeth discoloration. As a person ages, the upper layer or the enamel of the teeth begins to become worn away and gradually the inner layer, which is yellowish, becomes revealed.

There are preventive methods one can take from an early age in order to avoid the discoloration of teeth. It is very important to brush your teeth after every meal and the dentists always advice people to rinse off the mouth with water after the consumption of drinks such as coffee, wine or cola. Going to the dentist every now and then for a clean up is a very good way to prevent the teeth from getting discolored. To prevent children from getting stained teeth, parents should check out the fluoride concentration of the water the family drinks, and this can be done by calling up the local health department.

Knowing the causes of teeth discoloration is a way of prevention, as somebody with the knowledge of it can avoid the causes carefully. Smoking and the chewing of tobacco, consumption of too much coffee and wine can be avoided in order to prevent tooth discoloration. Mouth rinses which have a high fluoride concentration should be avoided or at least the usage of these products should be made minimal. After eating apples and potatoes, one should rinse off the mouth thoroughly with water. Even though there are many treatments and whitening procedures available on the market today, it is always better to prevent teeth from getting discolored than to treat them later on.

To understand more about tooth discoloration and available teeth whitening options to treat staining and discoloration, visit - internet's leading informational website about all aspects of teeth whitening.

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