Are your pearly whites losing their luster and not as white as they once were? Truth be told, there are many reasons your teeth may be losing their luminosity. The good news is there are several ways to reverse tooth discoloration and minimize staining in the first place.
If you’re in need of teeth whitening Phoenix AZ, here are some of the most common reasons for tooth discoloration along with some tips for conquering it and maintaining a healthy and bright smile.
Top 9 Reasons for Tooth Discoloration
1. Lifestyle Habits
Many people searching for teeth whitening Phoenix experience tooth discoloration due to frequent exposure to certain highly pigmented foods like tomatoes or beverages like coffee, red wine, or dark juices. As the teeth lose enamel, they begin absorbing various pigments that can dull the smile.
Smoking or chewing tobacco can also cause extrinsic stains. Tar residue can turn once white teeth an ugly brown, and unfortunately, home teeth whitening treatments don’t work very well. Only the best dentist Phoenix, AZ can rejuvenate your teeth and rid them of these deep stains.
2. Poor Dental Hygiene
Irregular brushing and flossing can result in plaque buildup on your teeth’s surface. Dental plaque contains orange-looking bacteria, and the accumulation of this bacteria can lead to not only tooth discoloration but also tooth decay.
Early signs of tooth decay include yellow or brown patches on the teeth, but as it progresses, cavities can begin to form. Without professional treatment, dental implants Phoenix may eventually be needed.
It is a long-known fact that the antibiotics doxycycline and tetracycline can cause permanent tooth discoloration, especially in developing children. Both of these can affect enamel formation and make teeth look grey, yellow, or brown.
Some mouth rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine can also discolor teeth. Antihistamines, like Benadryl, and hypertension medications can cause staining and tooth discoloration as well. If you take any medications, a qualified family dentist Phoenix, AZ will review your medications and develop a plan to optimize your dental health.
Diseases can also affect the development of tooth enamel, which allows the dentin to show through, resulting in tooth discoloration. Certain cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and head or neck radiation, can discolor teeth too, often resulting in the need for a cosmetic dentist Phoenix and restorative care.
Too much fluoride during the developmental stages, either from the overuse of fluoride toothpaste and applications or drinking water with high fluoride levels, can cause fluorosis, which often results in tooth discoloration. Depending on the level of severity, fluorosis can cause white spots or yellowish-brown patches on the teeth. It can also lead to hypoplasia and poor enamel quality.
Trauma from sports injuries can impact blood flow and cause the nerves of a tooth or teeth to “die.” In response to direct trauma, red blood cells rich in iron are released. As these red blood cells begin decomposing inside the tooth, darker iron pigments are released, which can penetrate the dentin and darken the tooth.
7. Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings, which consist of several metals and are often darker in color, can also be a cause of tooth discoloration. Metal corrodes over time, and the metals used in amalgam fillings are no exception. As they corrode, small metal particles are absorbed into the enamel and dentinal tubules, resulting in noticeably dark tooth discoloration.
8. Post-Root Canal Discoloration
Teeth treated via root canal are often darker and duller than their surrounding teeth. Not only is the root filling material used in root canals dark, but it can also permeate porous dentin and permanently darken the tooth. Sometimes, the enamel will appear yellow or brown, but your teeth may also have a purple or pinkish hue.
It’s perfectly normal for teeth to become darker as they age. In addition to thinning enamel due to years of erosion, the dentin darkens as well. The combination of both of these factors eventually results in darker and duller teeth as the years go by.
What are the Treatment Options for Whitening Teeth?
There are a variety of treatment options for those suffering from tooth discoloration. However, not every whitening method is a good option for everyone. The type and severity of the staining will determine the best treatment option.
While there are several at-home whitening products, over-the-counter teeth whitening products are not approved by the FDA. Some teeth whitening products can also damage your teeth, which is why you should discuss any whitening product with your dentist prior to using it.
Professional teeth whitening is recommended for the best results. Professional whitening is performed by a dentist in-office using any number of tested and proven professional whitening procedures and products.
For minor superficial staining, the application of a simple hydrogen peroxide solution is sometimes all that is needed. Deeper stains, however, may require the use of other products along with heat and a special light designed to accelerate the whitening process.
Other professional teeth whitening products may have higher concentrations of whitening agents. Some include desensitizer, and some require the use of a special tray for improved whitener adhesion. Regardless, when done by a qualified dental professional, all whitening procedures are considered both safe and effective.
Nonetheless, the application of whitening products, even by the most skilled dentist, is sometimes not enough to sufficiently treat tooth discoloration. In many of these cases, other dental treatments offer an effective solution. Some of these treatments include:
• Dental Bonding – Dental bonding is a fairly common procedure in which a white resin is applied to a discolored tooth. A special curing light is then used to harden the resin and bond it to the tooth for improved color and tooth structure.
• Dental Crowns – Dental crowns can also be used to whiten your smile. In addition to covering, protecting, and restoring damaged teeth, crowns can be customized to match the color of your other teeth for a healthy, seamless smile. If the surrounding teeth are healthy but not as white as you would like, treating them with a whitening product may also be recommended.
• Dental Veneers – Dental Veneers are made of porcelain and designed to fit over the front of teeth to improve their shape and color. Veneers are a popular option for many individuals wanting an easy, non-invasive way to improve several aspects of their smile. However, due to their fragility, certain foods should be avoided to minimize the chance of breakage.
Whiten Your Smile Today!
Are you tired of close-lipped smiles and hiding your once wonderfully white teeth? Sure, you could try any of the over-the-counter teeth whitening products and have some luck, but many of these at-home treatments are not FDA approved, and fewer more actually whiten as well as they claim. For the best teeth whitening Phoenix AZ, only professional treatment will do. A reputable, skilled cosmetic dentist can help erase years of staining and brighten your smile today!