Life can throw curveballs at any time, but one we don’t usually see coming is tooth discoloration. For some people, they look at their smile in the mirror and realize it’s not as white as it used to be, and they’re not sure when the change occurred. Others notice their teeth change after prolonged use of certain medications, or simply with age. At Weninger Dentistry, we provide solutions to fit your circumstances to help you reach your smile goals.
Types of Teeth Stains
Extrinsic stains are stains of the outermost portion of the tooth, the enamel. Enamel is the hard surface charged with protecting the inner workings of your teeth. Favorite foods and beverages like coffee, tea, soda, red wine, berries, curry, and pasta sauce leave pigments behind which are absorbed by the enamel. Tar stains from smoking are also common extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic stains are stains of the inner portion of the tooth, the dentin. Dentin is a layer of sensitive tissue that is naturally darker than enamel. As enamel wears away, the darker color becomes visible. Poor mouth health, physical trauma, antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and high blood pressure drugs are a few additional reasons for intrinsic staining. Regular exposure to tetracycline antibiotics or excess fluoride during enamel formation also leads to intrinsic staining.
Add darker dentin and thinner enamel to the list of unfavorable body changes that occur with age. No amount of brushing, flossing, and professional teeth cleanings can eliminate the wear on your teeth that happens over time. Weninger Dentistry wants you to know that you don’t have to live with tooth discoloration thanks to several treatment options.
Top Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration
Change is a good thing if it means protecting your oral health and keeping your teeth pearly white. We understand the attraction of coffees, teas, sodas, and wine, but you have to decide if needing to whiten teeth on a regular basis is worth the vice. Quitting is the most effective way to prevent these types of stains, but even cutting back will make it easier to clean teeth effectively. Another simple preventative action is using a straw to drink dark liquids to avoid as much contact as possible with teeth.
Be sure to brush with a whitening toothpaste, floss, and use mouthwash daily to remove food and drink particles. Some particles stain, while others provide food for bacteria which leave behind acidic waste products that cause damage and decay. Any damage to the enamel makes it stain easier. Even meticulous dental hygiene routines will not prevent tar stains though. The only way to prevent the stains caused by smoking is to not smoke in the first place.
How Weninger Dentistry Can Help
When the whitening toothpaste no longer delivers on its promises, it’s a good time to visit the team at Weninger Dentistry. Professional dental cleanings have a way of combating surface stains that exceed what can be accomplished at home. For deeper stains, at-home bleaching kits or in-office teeth whitening options may work.
If the stains are intrinsic or age-related and it is clear bleaching may cause more harm than good, bonding is the least invasive of the treatments that involves applying a tooth-colored resin to the surface of teeth. Veneers are the next step and involve minimal surface removal to allow a wafer-thin porcelain shell to be bonded to the front surface of teeth to hide stains. Crowning removes more of the natural tooth so that a tooth-colored cap can be placed on the stained tooth to conceal stubborn stains.
If teeth stains are an annoying feature you would rather live without, give us a call today to schedule an appointment to learn how we can restore your smile to its former glory.