Many people want their teeth to look pearly white and attractive. If you see stains, dullness, yellowing, or other discoloration on your teeth, you might feel self-conscious about the way your smile appears.
You can feel proud of your smile when you whiten your teeth with cosmetic treatment from your dentist. But you can also reduce your risk of staining your teeth in the first place when you understand what can cause these stains to form. Read on to learn three common reasons why people might see discoloration in their teeth over time.
3 Causes of Dental Discoloration
Consumption of Staining Agents
A major cause of discoloration forming on the teeth comes from the foods, drinks, and other substances we consume. Many items, especially dark ones, get their color from tannins. These substances will absorb into the teeth over time, leaving dark stains behind on the surface.
The stains penetrate deep where your toothbrush and floss cannot scrub them away during your oral hygiene routine. Your dentist can lift them with bleaching teeth whitening treatments in their office. But ideally, you should protect your natural tooth color for as long as you can.
Examples of items that can cause this effect include red wine, coffee, and tea. Pay attention to your diet to ensure you do not consume too many items that may affect the appearance of your smile. Smoking or chewing tobacco will also lead to this problem, so avoid this habit.
Underlying Dental Issues
Stains on your teeth can also occur as a side effect of an underlying dental problem. For instance, a cavity, the early stage of tooth decay, can present with white, brown, or black spots on the surface of the tooth. You will require treatment from your dentist to resolve this issue, so do not ignore it.
You may also see dullness in your tooth color due to problems with your tooth pulp. Tooth pulp might become non-vital, a condition known as a dead tooth, due to an injury or other damage that impacts the blood flow. You could have a higher risk of further dental problems if this happens, so your dentist will need to monitor your smile.
Do not dismiss color changes within your teeth without speaking to your dentist. Dental discoloration could mean you have a larger dental concern that requires intervention from a dentist to fix before it worsens.
Factors Outside of Patient Control
Tooth stains can develop due to reasons outside of your control too. Aging, for example, weakens the tooth enamel, making your smile more in danger of yellowing. And certain medications will leave stains on your teeth as a side effect.
To preserve your smile, visit your dentist on a regular basis. They can give you personalized and highly effective preventative dental care that will protect the look and feel of your teeth. Call your dentist to schedule a teeth cleaning and oral exam today.