For the most part, your teeth are naturally yellow. Only the thin, outer enamel is white. Just underneath that onion skin-type layer, tooth dentin is almost entirely yellow. So, it’s little wonder that so many people struggle with yellowing teeth.
Surprisingly, the problem is not limited to older adults. A third of Millennials hesitate to smile because of yellowing teeth and other dental problems. An even higher percentage remarked that mouth and tooth problems made their lives “less satisfying.”
Tooth Discoloration Causes
Fortunately, advanced prosthodontic techniques can effectively reverse the tooth discoloration process. Since the first step to curing the problem is understanding the problem, let’s look at some yellowing teeth causes.
As we get older, the aforementioned thin enamel layer gets even thinner. Excessive wear and tear on the enamel, from things like teeth grinding, makes the problem worse. Genetics may play a part as well. Some people have dark-colored dentin.
Lifestyle choices often play a part as well. So, yellowing teeth are sometimes easier to treat. Some common preventable causes include:
- Smoking: Tobacco and tar stain teeth. Furthermore, smoking stains teeth quickly and deeply. Many people who smoke for more than a few years complain that their teeth are brown. On a related note, smoking breaks down the mouth’s immune system, increasing the likelihood of serious gum and tooth problems.
- Food and Beverages: Contrary to popular myth, caffeine does not stain teeth. But the dark pigments in coffees, teas, and sodas definitely have that effect. The same thing applies to dark colored foods, like tomato sauce or curry.
- Medication: Children should never take Doxycycline, Minocycline, or other tetracyclines. These antibiotics can do a lot more than severely discolor teeth. In many cases, they can destroy teeth. Adults are vulnerable to these effects as well, especially if they have aggravating conditions, like photosensitivity.
Poor oral hygiene may not be the cause of yellowing teeth. However, it can cause buildup that makes the problem worse.
Some Cures for Yellowing Teeth
The cure largely depends on the cause. So, during your initial appointment, Dr. Stone and his staff will ask a lot of questions that might seem irrelevant. But there is a method to the perceived madness.
Even the best prosthodontist in the world cannot reverse age-related or genetics-related yellowing teeth. Veneers may be a good option in these situations. These tooth coverings are a permanent solution. Cleaning the teeth may make them look better for a while, but the yellowing will return later.
If lifestyle choices are the issue, teeth whitening is usually a good idea. This process removes surface stains that cause yellowing teeth without damaging the enamel. It’s up to you to make different lifestyle choices. But if you need help with something like quitting smoking, we can certainly provide resources.
Whether you are young or old, yellowing teeth can be a problem. And, whether you are young or old, we offer several different treatment options at Best Dental Associates. If you live in or around Ft. Lauderdale, call Dr. John Stone today.