Do you have discolored or stained teeth? If yes, do you know the reason for it? Your teeth can be discolored by stains on their surface or by changes inside the teeth. While some types of teeth staining can be reversed at home, the intense ones can be treated only by professional teeth whitening in a dental clinic. The causes of tooth staining are broadly divided into intrinsic and extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic – when the innermost part of the teeth, the dentin darkens or starts getting discolored.
Extrinsic – when the outermost layer of the teeth, the enamel starts getting stained or discolored.
Staining Caused by Things You Consume
The most common reason for teeth staining is what we consume. Highly pigmented foods such as berries, curries, sauces, etc. can easily stain your teeth. Continuous consumption of tobacco in any form can also result in yellowish or brownish teeth. The staining is caused by both the nicotine and tar present in tobacco that reacts with oxygen and produces dark-colored compounds. Likewise, the tannin present in tea and coffee can also stain your teeth as this compound gets trapped in the tooth enamel.
Staining Caused by Medicines
Consumption of tetracycline antibiotics or excessive fluoride can also result in yellow-brownish or chalky-white patches on the teeth. If tetracycline is taken in large dosages by the mother during pregnancy from the second trimester onward, it can cause tooth staining for the child even when he is an adult. Similarly, excess consumption of fluoride in food and oral care products can result in patch formation on teeth. The severity of stain varies based on the age of the individual and the period of time they were exposed to these factors.
Discoloration After Various Treatment
The nerve tissues of teeth which have undergone changes due to root canal therapy or other dental procedures also tend to become darker eventually. The discoloration can be yellowish, yellow-brownish, or even pink to purple hue in some cases. This happens due to the release of iron pigments from decomposing red blood cells inside the nerve space of the tooth. These dark pigments can penetrate into the tooth’s dentin layer, thus causing it to darken.
Discoloration Due To Physiological Reasons
Age and genetic factor can also be the significant reasons for teeth staining. The innermost dentin portion naturally turns yellow over time, and the enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Also, darker or lighter shades of teeth can be passed from one generation to the next one in the family. So, if a parent has yellowish or grayish teeth, the next generation may also have the same teeth discoloration issue.
You can visit our emergency dental clinic to know about the actual cause of your teeth staining. Based on the cause and severity of your staining or discoloration, our dentists will suggest you the right in-home or professional treatment.