You may have seen Taylor Swift’s perfect pearly white teeth or Halle Berry’s. Most celebrities and models are sporting white teeth. They need it for the camera. For many of us, our smiles are a bit duller.
This is not surprising, however, as there are a number of things that can greatly affect the color of your teeth and turn them into the dreaded yellow color.
Extrinsic and Intrinsic
There are two categories of teeth discoloration – extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic stains are found on the surface of the tooth enamel, which is the outermost layer of your tooth.
They develop because of the food and drinks that you take. Coffee, colas, and other dark-colored foods can have a great potential to stain your teeth. The reason for this is that they are high in pigment-producing substances that can easily stick to the enamel.
Acidic foods and drinks can erode your tooth enamel allowing the chromogens to stick to your teeth. And chromogens can further attach to the enamel if you are fond of drinking wine and tea.
What’s in wine and tea that can worsen the matter? They both contain tannin that can help chromogens to attach to your tooth enamel.
Another well-known culprit of tooth discoloration is smoking. And if you have poor dental hygiene, it causes dental plaque to build up on your teeth.
Foods that can make your teeth yellow
In addition to black coffee, tea, and red wine, there are other foods and drinks that can turn your teeth yellow.
- Pure dark-colored fruit juices can yellow teeth. That said, it is best to stay away from dark-colored solid fruit, i.e. if you are worried about your pearly whites.
- Soy sauce, too, can cause your teeth to stain. A general rule is that if a food can cause a stain in your carpet or clothes, then it is more likely to stain your teeth. You may also choose to replace soy sauce with a healthier option that will not turn your teeth yellow.
- Balsamic vinegar is a favorite among lovers of vegetable salad. But because of its darker color, it can stain your tooth. However, if your vegetable salad contains lettuce, then you do not have to worry about tooth discoloration as this vegetable can provide protection against stains.
It is a type of stain that occurs inside your tooth. Some factors can alter the properties of the enamel and its underlying dentin.
Intrinsic stains can be caused by a lot of factors. But one of the most common ones is medication. For example, if children took antibiotics while their teeth are still in the development stage, their teeth would eventually turn into yellow or brownish-yellow.
Adults are also prone to teeth discoloration, especially if they use a prescription-strength mouthwash formulated for gingivitis.
Furthermore, minocycline, an acne-fighting drug, can stain teeth.
Some drugs that can regulate blood pressure may also cause yellow teeth.
Ingestion of fluoride and chemotherapy may also result in intrinsic staining of teeth.
Genetics and Aging
Just like the color of your eyes or skin, you may simply be born with yellow teeth. It has something to do with your tooth enamel’s thickness. Normally, enamel is semi-translucent, making it shine through the light.
Likewise, your tooth enamel thins while you grow older. As a result, your teeth turn yellow.
Teeth Whitening Solutions
The treatment for yellow teeth may vary, depending on your case. For that reason, a comprehensive oral health evaluation will be performed by your dentist. Before any type of aesthetics is carried out, your tooth decay and gum problems must first be addressed.
One of the most recommended teeth whitening solutions is good hygiene. This means that you must brush and floss daily. Then, consider getting your teeth clean by your dentist every six months. For some cases, professional teeth cleaning procedure is done more frequently. This will help remove surface stains and get rid of bacteria.
When brushing your teeth, it is ideal to use an ultrasonic toothbrush, as it is more effective in removing the stain from the tooth surfaces.
An in-office tooth whitening may be recommended by your dentist. It is a procedure that requires the application of bleaching peroxide to your tooth enamel. The overall cost of this procedure will depend on your condition and the materials used by your dentist.
At-home bleaching may also help whiten your teeth and produce best results in the long run. Home whitening usually involves the use of whitening kits, gels and strips. Compared with in-office tooth whitening, at-home bleaching results are noticeable after four weeks. But this will depend on the desired shade.
OTC whitening products may also help as they are low-cost and very convenient. The cost can range from $4 to $100.
For severely discolored teeth, crowns and veneers may be ideal.
The kind of teeth whitening treatment for your case will depend on the result of a comprehensive oral health evaluation. For that reason, it is ideal that you consult your dentist to know what type of treatment that is best for your case.
If the tooth discoloration is the result of a systemic disease, you should consider consulting an endodontist, periodontist, and maxillofacial surgeons. In this way, your disease will be addressed appropriately and receive better outcomes than just applying a band-aid solution.
To know more about why your teeth are turning yellow, make an initial consultation with one of our dentists at Kososki Dental clinic.