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Posted on: May 25, 2021
Reasons and Remedies for Tooth Discoloration
People who have discolored and stained teeth often suffer from a lack of self-confidence. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to address this unsightly problem.
The Many Causes of Discolored Teeth
Most people are unaware that tooth discoloration has many different causes. Certain prescription medications can cause your teeth to become discolored, as can an injury to a permanent tooth. Aging is another cause of tooth discoloration. This is because as we age, the enamel of our teeth begins to wear away. This exposes a darker colored layer of tooth known as dentin. Other common causes of tooth discoloration include food and beverage choices and tobacco usage.
How the Things You Eat and Drink Cause the Teeth to Stain
Many popular foods and beverages can lead to tooth discoloration. While they may taste good, the below items contribute to darkening your smile:
- Sugary Beverages – Drinks such as sodas, fruit juices and sports drinks are all popular to consume. However, they are also full of sugars and acids that attack the enamel of your teeth and cause discoloration.
- Dark Drinks – Beverages such as tea, coffee, and red wine are also common culprits that lead to stained teeth. They also weaken the tooth’s enamel.
- Sweet Snacks – Candies, gums, and other sweet treats are full of sugar that attacks your teeth and wears down enamel.
- Starch-Stuffed Foods – Potatoes, pastas, white breads, rice, and cereals also contain sugars that erode enamel.
Eating Certain Foods Can Prevent Discolored Teeth
The foods and drinks you consume can help keep your teeth white. The key is to maintain a balanced diet that is full of a variety of nutrients. The following foods and drinks are excellent choices when it comes to keeping your smile as white as possible:
- Water – Water isn’t just refreshing to drink, it’s also the best way to avoid staining your teeth. This is because water washes away hidden food particles, sugars and acids from your mouth.
- Sugar-Free Drinks – If you feel the need to drink something other than water, opt for a sugar-free beverage. This will also help to wash away substances that destroy the tooth’s enamel.
- Milk and Cheese – Milk, cheese, and other dairy products increase the production of saliva, which assists in neutralizing acids in the mouth. The calcium and protein contained within dairy also strengthen your teeth.
- Fish and Flax Seeds – Omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Flax seeds and fish contain these nutrients in abundance. Any type of food that reduces inflammation also reduces your risk of periodontal disease.
- Cocoa – Cocoa is another type of food that can lessen inflammation. It also assists in preventing tooth decay and erosion of the enamel.
Has Smoking Led to Your Teeth Becoming Discolored?
The majority of smokers suffer from stained and discolored teeth. If your teeth have lost their whiteness because of smoking or other kinds of tobacco use, continue reading to learn more about how to combat this common problem.
Pack Up the Truth About Tobacco and Tooth Discoloration
Dental professionals around the world all agree that tobacco usage is one of the primary culprits behind tooth stains and discoloration. If you desire to have a white smile, you should avoid smoking and using other tobacco products. Not only does smoking harm your overall health, but it also affects your oral health by leading to an increased risk of stained teeth and gum disease.
How You Can Rid Yourself of the Problem of Stained Teeth from Smoking
While most people know all of the warnings about the dangers of smoking, many just aren’t ready to rid themselves of the habit yet. Here are some helpful tips that can help you to reduce the impact that smoking has the color of your teeth:
- See your dentist twice a year to receive professional dental cleanings.
- Be sure that you’re brushing, flossing and rinsing with an antibacterial mouth wash every day. This prevents plaque from building up on your teeth.
- Try to brush after every meal and after every time you smoke a cigarette. This reduces staining.
- Be sure that you’re eating a balanced diet.
Whitening Your Smile Isn’t Just Smoke and Mirrors
Smokers often believe that their stained teeth are a side effect that they can do nothing about. However, there are many different options available to whiten the teeth, no matter how bad the staining may be. While your discoloration may return if you continue to smoke after treatment, you should be able to make your smile much whiter. Talk to your dentist about these different tooth whitening options:
- Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes can improve minor stains and assist in preventing further stains from setting in.
- At-home tooth whitening treatments can also lighten minor discoloration.
- Professional whitening treatments performed by a dental professional produces the best and fastest results.
How You Can Prevent Tooth Discoloration
In addition to avoiding smoking and other forms of tobacco use, there are other things you can do to reduce the amount of staining that occurs to your teeth. These tips can help you to prevent staining:
- Establish an excellent oral hygiene routine at home that includes brushing, flossing and utilizing a mouthwash every day.
- Make time to brush your teeth after eating.
- Rinse your mouth out with water when you drink a dark-colored beverage.
- Have dental procedures done as soon as possible.
- Receive professional dental cleanings on a consistent basis.
Tactics to Treat Tooth Discoloration
If you’ve been hiding away your smile because of stained or discolored teeth, it’s time to address the issue. There are a number of options available for you to choose from. They include:
- Professional whitening treatments performed at the dentist’s office. These deliver the fastest results and can get rid of most staining.
- At-home whitening treatment kits that are given to you by your dentist. These work on most stains but take longer than the treatments you receive in the office.
- Over-the-counter whitening products that you can purchase from the store aren’t as stronger as what you would receive from your dentist. They won’t reduce staining as much as professional treatments do.
- Tooth whitening toothpastes are good for light stains.
- Dental crowns or veneers are an option for patients who have stains that aren’t able to be removed via whitening treatments.
To determine which option is best for your whitening needs, speak to your dentist.