What Can I Do About My Discoloured Teeth?
“Discoloured teeth don’t have to stay that way. There’s a long list of things which you can do to prevent further staining - as well as attaining that perfect smile you so often see on TV.”
Discoloured teeth can affect you in many different ways. While it doesn’t have to be a sign of poor oral health, it’s often an indication of other issues going on. This may be due to infrequent dental check ups or lifestyle choices like smoking and your diet. Nobody wants to have discoloured teeth. Pearly white teeth have been set as a beauty standard for centuries, with primitive tooth whitening practises estimated to date back as far as 4000 years ago! Nowadays, teeth discoloration doesn’t have to be endured, with easy procedures available for us to perform at home or by our dentist.
What Causes Discoloured Teeth?
There are a lot of different factors involved in tooth discoloration. Yellowing is generally caused by stains to either the outer enamel layer (extrinsic stains) or in the inner dentin layer (intrinsic stains). The latter proving more difficult to remove and usually requiring in-chair whitening services with a dental professional. Darker discoloration or a blackened appearance are often indicative of more serious issues. Most times being caused by dead nerves within the tooth or severely damaged teeth.
Common causes of teeth discoloration include:
Food & Drink
Tea and Coffee contain tannins. These are known contributors to teeth yellowing. Red wine, certain berries and tomato based sauces also contain high staining properties.
The nicotine and tar inside of tobacco is absorbed by the pores of your teeth. Once oxidised, this turns a yellow colour. Smoking also possesses a multitude of other risks to your health.
Poor dental hygiene
Not brushing, flossing and avoiding dental check ups will only result in a build up of harmful material that is likely to stain your teeth.
As we get older it’s natural for our enamel to wear down. This results in more visible dentin underneath. Dentin has a darker appearance and can make the tooth look discoloured.
Sometimes we’re simply unlucky. You may just have a natural predisposition to discolouration because of your genes. We’re all different, some of us are more prone to conditions than others.
Medications for all sorts of conditions can have a negative impact on your oral health. Antibiotics, antihistamines, antipsychotic and antihypertensive medications can all cause the side effect of tooth discoloration. It’s best to try and mitigate this damage with good oral hygiene and regular consultation with your dentist and doctor.
Dental materials such as amalgam, a metallic substance used to fill teeth, can cause a grey-black appearance. Facial trauma from sporting injuries or other physical incidents can also lead to discolouration.
What Can Discoloured Teeth Lead To?
It’s not just all about the outside. Discoloured teeth can affect you on the inside too. Feeling ashamed of your smile can have negative effects on your mental health, making you feel less confidence in yourself and more prone to self esteem issues.
While tooth discolouration doesn’t have to be a sign of poor oral health, it’s also often an indication of other issues going on. This may be due to infrequent dental check ups or lifestyle choices like smoking and a poor diet. Left unaddressed, discoloured teeth can lead to further staining, decay and in severe situations, even the removal of teeth.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Discoloured Teeth?
Prices will vary across the board. Dental professionals all have their own individual products and practices. It’s best to book in for a consultation for exact quotes. Average figures around Australia show that take-home whitening kits range from around $300 to $550. The costs associated with in-chair whitening are generally higher, as this procedure produces almost instant results. You’ll be paying around double the price of a take home kit, or up to as much as $700 in some cases.
How Can I Manage My Discoloured Teeth?
Discoloured teeth don’t have to stay that way. There’s a long list of things you can do to prevent further staining, as well as attaining that perfect white smile you so often see on TV.
Professional whitening – at home and in-chair
The quickest and most effective option to improve the look of your discoloured teeth is undoubtedly professional whitening. While over-the-counter whitening toothpastes can help to reduce surface stains, a professional whitening is the only way to get rid of those deep stains, embedded in your dentin. Take home kits involve you applying a tray – filled with a whitening solution – to your mouth every night. Patients usually see quite a significant improvement after a few weeks. In-chair whitening is much quicker, taking effect in about an hour. You’ll see immediate improvements as soon as this process is over.
White coloured filling
This is a composite resin material that is the same colour as your teeth. Fillings can improve the colour and structure of your smile.
Veneers to cover discoloured teeth
Another option, if you feel your teeth might never look the way you want, are veneers. This is a modern solution, with a thin synthetic material placed around your tooth to give it the perfect appearance you’re looking for. The veneer colour can be matched to whatever shade you desire, making it blend in seamlessly. The majority of your tooth is left in-tact with a veneer. Only a small amount of enamel is shaved off in order to fit the prosthetic over the tooth. Veneers are a suitable option if your teeth are not only discoloured, but also experiencing any number of other issues you wish to cover up.
Crowns are custom made porcelain ‘shells’. They’re designed to cover the front of your teeth to improve the colour and shape of your smile.
6 Easy Steps To Keep Your Teeth White
Don’t skip your check-ups
Regular appointments with your dentists will not only help with avoiding discoloration but can also help diagnose a number of potential oral conditions. Preventive dentistry is an essential tool in maintaining oral health.
Eat less sugar
This simple tip will not only help with your oral health but also your overall health.
Brushing alone isn’t enough. Regular flossing allows you to remove much more harmful bacteria that will build up to cause discoloration and decay.
Brush after meals
If you find that you’re unable to avoid those delish foods and drinks that tend to stain your teeth, brushing afterwards can help. Even using a mouthwash will be useful in removing the remnant food and drink particles from the surface of your tooth.
No easy feat, understandably. Quitting smoking will have a positive effect on all areas of your health. Talk to a health professional today if you need some guidance on this matter.
Eat naturally teeth whitening foods
While there is no magical food that will drastically change the colour of your teeth, there are certain foods that can be helpful. Milk, cheeses and other dairy products contain lactic acid. This acid can act to whiten your teeth by protecting your enamel from breaking down. Crunchy vegetables like apples and raw carrots can also help, due to their hard texture. Biting into these foods causes your mouth to produce more saliva, washing away the harmful bacteria.
See Your Dentist For Whiter Teeth Today
If you’ve got discoloured teeth, booking in to see your dentist is the solution. They’ll provide you with the tools and guidance to achieve the look you want. Here at Innovative Dental Moonee Ponds, principal dentist Dr. Naser Eshak has over 30 years of experience in dentistry. Whether you want in-chair whitening, a take home kit, veneers or any other cosmetic dentistry – we’ll help you smile again at Innovative Dental. Book in for a comprehensive exam at our clinic and receive a free take-home teeth whitening kit – valued at $300!
Book online or contact us on (03) 9346 8333 today.