Teeth naturally change color over time; for most people it is unavoidable. Though visiting your dentist for whitening helps maintain your bright, white smile, the team at Preventive Dental Services PC in Homer, AK, explain that it’s also important to understand what causes tooth discoloration. Some issues result from bad habits, while others are due to age and factors beyond your control. Knowing the reasons will both mitigate frustration as well as offer some helpful insight for correcting the problem when possible.
Here, the dentists discuss three main causes of tooth discoloration:
- Intrinsic: This type of discoloration occurs because of changes inside the tooth. Underneath the enamel is a material called dentin which is not perfectly white. It can change color as a result of childhood exposure to too much fluoride or tetracycline antibiotics. Trauma before your teeth fully develop also affects the color, as does the internal bleeding it can cause.
- Extrinsic: This is the most common type of discoloration and occurs when the outside layer of the tooth, called enamel, is stained. Smoking makes the enamel yellow, and certain foods or dark beverages, like soda, coffee, and wine, add a brownish tint. Quitting smoking and using a straw when drinking these beverages will help you avoid the issue.
- Age: As you get older, your dentin will naturally become more yellow. The enamel on your teeth will also get thinner, which allows the now colored dentin to show through. This is why people notice their teeth start to discolor as they age, even if they keep up with their dental hygiene.
If you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth or would like dental care, turn to the trusted dentists at Preventive Dental Services, PC. They work in a comfortable and professional environment to give you a healthy and attractive smile with ease. They can help with everything from a root canal to implants. Contact them online, or call (907) 235-1286 to schedule your appointment today.