Are your pearly whites staining and losing their luster?

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We all want white shining teeth don’t we? Well, good news: it is absolutely possible to achieve that dream. So, if you have staining teeth or your teeth are losing their luster, don’t be disappointed because as damaging as the situation of your teeth may appear to be, teeth staining is a reversible process.

What is tooth staining and why does it happen?

The white hard part of our teeth that we see is called the enamel. The enamel is composed of hardened minerals and protects the inner softer part of the teeth called the dentin. Enamel is not exactly pure white and is slightly towards the off-white shade. So, if your teeth have a hint of yellow color which is not too visible, then probably this is the natural color of your teeth. Tooth staining is when the teeth become too yellow or brown band or spots and streaks start to appear on top of our teeth. Most of the times, people suffer from extrinsic teeth staining. In this type of staining, the enamel of your teeth is affected. An extrinsic tooth staining is mainly caused due to the type of foods that we consume. Coffee, tea, alcohol- especially wine, and certain juices can badly stain the teeth. Teeth staining may also happen due to smoking and as a result of consuming too many medications- especially antibiotics like tetracycline.

Not all kinds of teeth straining are extrinsic. In many cases the staining happens when the internal part of the teeth becomes stained. This type of staining is called intrinsic staining and is quite rare. Also, as opposed to extrinsic staining, intrinsic staining starts becoming obvious from a very young age, when your permanent teeth start showing. There are many factors that cause intrinsic staining, but some common causes may be:

  • Your mother consumed certain antibiotics during second half of pregnancy
  • You were exposed to too much fluoride as a child
  • As your permanent teeth were developing, they suffered from an external trauma
  • You were exposed to tetracycline antibiotics when you were a child.

Apart from intrinsic and extrinsic factors, age also plays a part in teeth staining. Our teeth naturally start to stain as we get older.

What is the treatment of tooth staining?

The kind of treatment prescribed by Rensselaer dentists depends on the extent of your teeth staining. If your teeth are not severely stained, then the dentist may prescribe a whitening gel along with a tray which you can use at home. For very minor cases, the dentist might only prescribe whitening toothpaste or a mouth wash. When the teeth are badly stained or you have tetracycline marks then you may need a professional whitening treatment. Apart from professional whitening, you may even get veneers fixed upon your natural teeth. Veneers are made of a composite bonding material and is made to match the natural color if your teeth.

How can I prevent tooth staining?

Your enamel has the ability to rebuild, hence minor stains can be eventually erased naturally, if you start taking extra care of your teeth and stop consuming foods that are staining your teeth. If you are a smoker, then reducing smoking can help reverse the damage on your teeth. Maintaining a good oral hygiene is essential for the overall health and the color of your teeth. Once your spot stains on your teeth or you feel that your teeth are losing luster, you must immediately take actions and start off by using over the counter products.

Remember, teeth staining can be easily treated, so don’t let some marks come in your way of having the perfect, shiny white teeth.

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