One of the major causes, why a worldwide trend exists of people ignoring their dental health is due to the difficulty in discerning symptoms. Of those that usually ring an alarm in people, the colour of the teeth is a major one. Teeth staining is a bigger issue in the world than you would think. It is one of the primary symptoms that indicate a dental problem. Different kinds of staining can indicate different dental ailments and thus, works as a kind of meter to help dentists seek out the root of the problem. Here, we will be discussing all you need to know about dental staining so that you can make a timely visit to the dentist before a more serious problem strikes.
What is teeth staining?
Teeth staining or discoloration is a change in the colour of your teeth or even tooth, in a manner that will come across as uncharacteristic. By uncharacteristic, we mean, yellow, red, brown, black, or even unnaturally white spots and stains. The truth is, our teeth will always be coming in the contact of various pigments and chemicals, either organic or chemical, from the food we ingest. But if you are taking care of your teeth religiously, these colorations will not be permanent. But if you notice that brushing, flossing, and other home dental care techniques are not getting the stains out, chances are, you have teeth staining and will need special products or treatment by a teeth-whitening dentist.
What are the causes of teeth staining?
Teeth staining can have a number of causes. But we have outlined the major ones below:
- Food and drinks – Tea, coffee, and red wine are some of the main culprits. But any food with high-staining pigments, like beet, berries, pomegranate, and artificial food pigments can cause staining. Sugary foods are notorious for causing bacteria that can decay and discolour teeth. Acidic food can cause corrosion of the enamel and consequent discoloration.
- Tobacco and areca nut – Tobacco, either smoked or chewed, causes severe discoloration of teeth that only worsens with time. There is also the habit of chewing areca nuts in some people that causes staining.
- Injury and trauma – Injury to the teeth can cause teeth discoloration. Chipped and broken teeth get easily discoloured at the site of injury. Even trauma that causes internal damage to the tooth can cause discolorations.
- Treatments – Certain medical treatments can also give rise to teeth discoloration. Chemotherapy, anti-histamines, tetracycline-based medications, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic medications are known causes of teeth staining. Fluoride treatment, although necessary for dental health, can actually cause ugly white stain if done in excess. Silver-containing fillings can give rise to dark stains in the teeth due to oxidation.
- Poor dental hygiene – If you do not take care of your oral health, it will cause teeth staining. Regular brushing, flossing, dental appointments, and treatments too, if necessary, are important for dental health. Otherwise, plaque, tartar, caries, and other problems will arise, which start with teeth discoloration.
- Iron – Iron deposits can also discolour teeth. The iron can come from food with high iron content like legumes, spinach, liver, red meat, etc, iron supplements and even water that is high in iron content.
- Dry mouth – A surprise addition to the list is dry mouth. A consistently dry mouth causes enamel erosion, which in turn causes teeth discoloration.
- Age – With age, the dentin, which is the foundation material of teeth starts yellowing. Also, the enamel of teeth starts eroding with age, as a result of which, the yellowed dentin shows and results in discoloured teeth.
What are the types of stains you may get?
Teeth staining can be categorized under two main types. These are:
- Extrinsic stains – These occur on the surface of the teeth, that is, on the enamel, like plaque. They are mostly caused due to pigments and particles from foods, drinks, and tobacco. Superficial treatments are usually sufficient to get them out.
- Intrinsic stains – These are caused under the enamel of the teeth. Causes are tooth decay, dental injury, medications, excessive fluoride treatment, etc and must be tackled by professional treatment.
What is the treatment of teeth staining?
There are several ways teeth staining can be treated. You can use over-the-counter whitening products like whitening strips and toothpaste that you can use without any prescription. These work best on temporary stains. For more stubborn stains, you will need professional help from a teeth-whitening dentist. For less serious problems, there are at-home treatments that the teeth-whitening dentist can prescribe, that, with regular usage can solve the problem.
This mostly comprises of low-concentration hydrogen peroxide gels. The dentist creates custom trays to fit your dental structure. You need to apply the gel to the tray and wear it for a specified period every day for as many days as the dentist recommends. The most serious cases are tackled with in-clinic treatments. There are two common methods used here. These are bleaching treatment, using a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, and laser treatment that breaks down staining materials from the teeth.
How can you prevent teeth staining?
Just getting treatment solves the teeth staining problem but is not enough to prevent it in the future. The onus of that is on the patients themselves. You must stay away from the foods and drinks as far as possible that is causing staining. You must cut down on the habit of tobacco, areca nuts, tea, or coffee. Take regular care of your oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, and do not forget the biannual visits to the teeth-whitening dentist. Also, if any medications or treatments are the roots of the problem, you should discuss alternatives with the prescribing doctor.
As a resident of Roswell, GA, if you are looking for the best teeth whitening dentist, look no further. At TruCare, you will get international-grade teeth-whitening treatment for all kinds of staining. You will be treated using either Zoom! Whitening or KöR teeth whitening, both of which are revolutionary techniques in teeth-whitening treatment.