Is It Possible to Prevent or Reverse Teeth Staining?
Yes! There Are Many Effective Treatments For Stained Teeth!
First of all, we should ask: how do teeth go from bright and white to dull and stained? Let’s imagine a young boy – we’ll call him Chris. Usually Chris is pretty good about brushing his teeth, flossing, and eating healthy foods.
As a child and in his teens, Chris has a really great, shining smile, but as he ages into his late 20’s he finds that his teeth are beginning to take on a duller appearance. He starts brushing more thoroughly and buys whitening toothpaste, but it doesn’t seem to be making any difference. What is going on with Chris’s teeth? Here are a few possible explanations:
The enamel on the surface of a tooth is what makes teeth look so sparkling white. Enamel covers up and protects the tooth’s core structure, dentin, which has a slightly yellow tinge. Over time, Chris’s enamel is getting worn down by day-to-day activities like eating, drinking and grinding, creating millions of micro-cracks. These cracks collect debris and stains, while the enamel becomes more transparent, allowing the yellowish dentin to show through.
Food and Beverages
If Chris is a regular consumer of tea, coffee, cola, red wine, or tobacco products, he may be experiencing severe staining. These substances are known as chromogenic agents, they can cause teeth to appear yellow, orange, or brown, depending on the frequency of use. The good news is that stains cause by these substances are usually removed very effectively by teeth whitening treatments.
If Chris suffered an injury to one of his teeth, such as a bump or a chip, that tooth may begin to darken. This usually indicates that there has been damage to the nerve inside the tooth, and a dentist will need to evaluate the situation.
Although these factors can cause serious discoloration, teeth whitening or bleaching can dramatically reverse the staining. Patients can experience an improvement of up to 8 shades with some whitening treatments.
If you’d like to learn more about removing stains from your teeth, just click here to schedule an appointment.
Next week we’ll talk about some of the most common techniques for whitening teeth, including in-office treatment, take-home kits, and over-the-counter whiteners.
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