Some individuals often hesitate to smile because they are self-conscious about their appearance, especially, their dreaded yellow teeth. The issue can be resolved by taking some simple steps.
What is tooth discoloration?
Any color other than white can be considered abnormal. Such discoloration of the tooth can be caused due to intrinsic or extrinsic stains.
Extrinsic stains can be removed easily as they affect the tooth’s outermost layer called the enamel. In most cases, the concerned layer turns yellowish due to chewing tobacco, smoking cigarettes, drinking too much tea, coffee, etc.
Surprisingly, besides items like chocolates, sauces, red wine, and dark sugary beverages, even some vegetables, and fruits like beets, cherries, blueberries, grapes, etc. can prove to be the reason behind yellow teeth.
Acidic foods erode the enamel and make it easy for pigments to stick to the tooth surface. A compound called Tannin, present in both, tea and wine can cause maximum damage. Adding more milk to the tea can help in controlling Tannin.
Intrinsic stains are difficult to handle as they affect the dentin (inner layer of the tooth). Such a coating can turn the teeth brownish-yellow. Side-effects of commonly used antibiotics, chemotherapy treatment, use of chlorhexidine-containing mouthwash, as well as too much use of fluoride-containing products (including drinking water) can cause intrinsic stains.
Lastly, remember, that discoloration can also be due to genetic reasons, sports injuries, illness, and age factors.
Proper saliva production in the mouth is crucial to help deal with thinning tooth enamel. Thus, in the case of intrinsic stains, experts also ensure nothing is impacting the saliva production.
How to maintain clean teeth?
Rinse your mouth with water each time when you eat. Brushing, flossing, and opting for professional dental cleaning once in six months can help in getting rid of such stains and controlling discoloration. Plus, one needs to focus on eating habits.
Ignoring stains is not advisable as it also indicates the possible presence of plaque, tartar, and decay buildup.
To minimize the damage caused by beverages and sugary drinks, dental care experts often recommend patients to drink the same using a straw.
Stained teeth treatment
Thanks to advancements in dentistry, there is no need to change eating habits to get back that lost smile. The patient can always opt for home-based or in-office whitening options to bring back the natural color in the smile.
You can opt for over-the-counter home-based teeth whitening kits that come with simple instructions, and directions for use. You can also buy special whitening toothpaste, gels containing hydrogen peroxide, whitening pens, or whitening strips available at most pharmacies.
Some of the most common home remedies or simple ways to whiten your teeth are using the combination of toothpaste and baking soda, or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
Baking soda alone may not prove to be effective at all, but studies have shown that it can do the trick when combined with toothpaste or hydrogen peroxide. It can control bacteria growth. But, as it is abrasive, it should not be used for cleaning denticles daily.
There are some other methods like oil pulling, rinsing the mouth with apple cider vinegar, using activated charcoal, and using oranges or lemons. However, studies conducted to understand the benefits offered by these methods showed an adverse outcome in some cases. Thus, these cannot be considered the best tips to keep your teeth white.
There are many whitening devices available in the market, but it is advisable to buy them only after consulting with your dentist. Dental care experts also offer some advanced options like professional bleaching, and laser whitening.
Teeth that start turning black should never be ignored
Blackening of teeth or black, brown, or gray spots need to be taken much more seriously as they indicate tartar, decay, or other severe dental issues. Foods and beverages do cause the teeth to turn black, but in most cases, they start appearing dark due to damage from the inside. A dead tooth or pulp infection can turn it black.
Usually, the damage is expected to start from the surface and work its way to the layers inside. However, it might work the other way around in some cases.
Dentists suggest several patients ignore small black spots on the denticle and start taking them seriously when they cover the entire tooth. Keeping the untreated decay increases the damage and reduces the chances of recovering the tooth’s functioning.
Such spots may appear anywhere on the denticle, but those on the surface or gum line need immediate attention. Ignoring the same can result in a buildup of tartar that can further erode the enamel with holes.
The treatment for such black spots entirely depends on the reason behind the discoloration. Your dentist would examine the affected parts and recommend options accordingly.
The Tartar layer can be removed by scraping or with the help of ultrasonic instruments. Filling and polishing can be good enough to restore the tooth.
In case the tooth has turned black due to decay, the dentist would remove the rotten part and use a dental filling or a new crown, depending on the part of the denticle that’s infected. The dental care expert may need to extract the entire tooth if it is too spoiled to be restored with a filling, new crown, or a root canal. A dental implant may remain the only option to regain functioning.
The time required for stained teeth treatment
Professional teeth whitening and polishing procedure requires around three weeks and two to three dental clinic visits. The dental team may need to take teeth impressions to create a mouth guard to be used after polishing.
A tooth that has undergone a root canal or filling would need a longer time for completing the teeth polishing procedure. The dentist may require reopening the operated canal for whitening.
Depending on the treatment option, your dentist may recommend you to apply certain whitening products while at home for a few hours during the treatment period. The whitening effects offered by professional treatment can last for as long as three years.
If you are looking for a trustworthy dental care office based in Roswell (GA) for tooth whitening, you can always book an appointment at TruCare Dentistry and discuss the best suitable options.