All About Tooth Discolouration

a before and after photo of what teeth whitening can do for you

Tooth discolouration affects almost all adults in some form, be it faintly or extensively.

The staining of our teeth and colour loss directly result from various types of food, activities, and habits that encourage it. It’s often perceived as an aesthetic issue that affects one's self-confidence and willingness to smile. However, it’s not solely a cosmetic concern, as it can also indicate various underlying health conditions.

Here are some important facts you should know about tooth discolouration, as well as guidance on how to reverse its effects with professional teeth whitening services.

Forms of Tooth Discolouration

There are three different forms of tooth discolouration and staining.

  1. Extrinsic discolouration is what occurs when the enamel (outer layer) of your teeth is stained, usually by various foods and beverages.
  2. Intrinsic discolouration occurs when the interior structure of your teeth, known as the dentin, becomes darkened from staining.
  3. Finally, age-related discolouration is a natural occurrence influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic triggers. As a person ages, their enamel can become thinner, which allows the dentin to show through. Both layers are then potentially exposed and vulnerable to discolouration.

Causes of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Staining

Your teeth can be affected by the foods you eat and the daily activities you participate in, and this includes conditions such as discolouration of either an extrinsic or intrinsic nature.

Genetics to injuries, diseases such as anemia, and environmental factors such as excessive exposure to fluoride are major influencers of discolouration. However, food and drink consumption tend to have the most dramatic impact.

Smoking, drinking red wine, coffee or tea, sodas, and eating some fruits and vegetables as well as various spices can cause damage to the natural colour tones of your teeth, causing yellowing and other forms of discolouration.

Poor oral hygiene and some select medications, such as antibiotics, can also discolour your teeth over time with regular or consistent use.

While daily brushing is fundamental for oral hygiene, it doesn’t always prevent teeth from yellowing. There are multiple reasons your teeth may lose their whiteness despite regular brushing. Additionally, some people may have naturally yellower enamel than others.

Genetics play a role in the natural colour of your enamel and how susceptible it is to staining. To understand the specific causes and address them appropriately, consult with your dentist for personalized advice and treatment options.

The Optimal Solution? Professional Teeth Whitening

If you happen to encounter permanent tooth staining or discolouration, know that it doesn’t have to be permanent.

By seeking out an experienced dental professional with a comprehensive knowledge of best care practices, you can receive cost-effective and highly results-driven teeth whitening services.

Home and in-office treatments can take as little as 30 minutes, all while helping to reduce and eliminate the visual appearance of staining over time. A whitening gel is typically applied to the teeth, and a special lighting system is utilized to activate it.

What You Should Know About Teeth Whitening

When considering teeth whitening, it's important to understand both the potential benefits and risks.

Teeth whitening can significantly brighten your smile, boosting confidence and self-esteem. However, it's vital to use approved methods, whether opting for at-home solutions or professional services, to prevent damage to your enamel or gums.

Always consult with a dental professional before starting a tooth whitening regimen to ensure it's suitable for your dental health.

Why It’s Best to See a Dental Professional for Teeth Whitening

Seeing a dental professional for teeth whitening is the safest option because they have the training and expertise to assess the health of your teeth and gums, ensuring the whitening process is tailored to your specific needs.

Dentists use higher-concentration bleaching agents that are unavailable over the counter, and which can lead to more effective and longer-lasting results.

Furthermore, treatment under professional supervision minimizes the risk of side effects and provides the peace of mind that comes with knowing your dental health is in expert hands.

How Do I Know If I'm Qualified for Tooth Whitening?

If you're considering tooth whitening, it's essential to first establish if you're a suitable candidate.

Signs that you may be qualified include having healthy teeth free from cavities and the absence of gum disease. Those with restorations such as fillings, crowns and bridges must be particularly cautious, as whiteners may not affect the colour of these materials and can cause uneven whitening.

Additionally, individuals with sensitive teeth may require special consideration or treatment. Consulting with a dental professional will provide a comprehensive evaluation and determine if your teeth are fit for whitening procedures.

The results of teeth whitening can be extraordinary and perfectly natural-looking by working with an experienced dental professional.

For more information on our teeth whitening services and how we can help restore the confidence in your smile, contact Dow’s Lake Dental to book an appointment.