Then team at Hyde Park Dental Care in Sydney discuss the main causes of teeth discolouration and share tips on how best to prevent staining.
The confidence of a beautiful smile is often marred by stained teeth. While this is a problem that most adults face, we at Hyde Park Dental Care believe where there is a problem, there is a solution – and we try our very best to offer our patients the highest level of dental care.
What is tooth discolouration?
There are two forms of teeth discolouration and they are usually caused by lifestyle choices and sometimes factors like genetics, which we can’t do anything to control.
Extrinsic teeth stains
This type of discolouration takes place when the hard protective layer that surrounds the tooth, known as the enamel, is stained. Bacteria or chemicals that cause discolouration to stick to the outer surface of the tooth, as well as in holes or crakes in the teeth and eat away at the enamel causing the external stains. The common colours of extrinsic stains are brown, black or grey colours
Intrinsic teeth stains
This type of discolouration occurs internally when bacteria and chemicals collect in the enamel. Teeth with intrinsic stains may be stained red, pink or shiny yellow. Unlike extrinsic stains where more than one tooth is affected or discoloured, intrinsic stains affect only one tooth.
Here are 6 common causes of teeth discolouration:
#1. Foods and Drinks
Pigmented foods and acidic drinks are usually the leading causes of tooth discolouration.
Common staining foods and drinks include:
- Dark chocolate
- Some fruit
- Tea and coffee
We believe that life is for living and that oral care should fit into your daily routine. While most people would find it difficult to completely eliminate these foods and drinks, we advise that they are consumed in moderation.
#2. Oral care
Sometimes while trying to take care of our teeth, we may cause more harm than good. One of the main oral offences we commit is vigorous brushing. Not only can this hurt your gums but it can also strip the enamel off your teeth, resulting in discolouration and tooth sensitivity. However, too little brushing can lead to plaque and bacterial buildup which forms a stain on the teeth.
Tobacco contains nicotine which turns yellow when it combines with oxygen. These types of brownish, yellowish stains are prominent in smokers. Aside from discoloration, smoking can also contribute to gum disease. We understand that smoking is an addiction that can be difficult to give up, so we suggest that you gradually cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke per a day.
#4. Tooth decay
Tooth decay is usually caused by bad oral care habits. This also leads to discolouration.
#5. Certain Medications
Certain medications may have teeth discolouration as a side effect. If this is something you are concerned about then a good option would be to speak to your doctor about possible alternatives.
Some people inherit a thinner layer of enamel that increases the risk of discolouration, this is beyond your control but preventive measures can be taken.
Prevention is better than treatment. Here are a few tips from Dr Joffe at Hyde Park Dental Care in Sydney’s CBD to help you avoid teeth discolouration:
- Avoid foods that can lead to teeth staining.
- Brush twice a day, rinse after meals, floss once a day and visit a dentist at least once in 6 months.
- Consult a dentist immediately when you notice staining.
Tooth discolouration treatment Sydney
We offer a variety of options to treat cases of discolouration, with our most popular being teeth whitening. Sometimes addressing the problem is not as simple as using a bleaching agent, as staining could point to more serious, underlying dental problems.