5 Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration (and What You Can Do About It)

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5 Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration (and What You Can Do About It)

The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to a whiter smile. Only professional teeth whitening can remove stains and discoloration due to the most common causes.

Nothing ruins a holiday photo like yellow teeth. While you can edit your teeth to look whiter and brighter in a picture, you can’t use the same filters in real life. However, professional teeth whitening services from your dentist can erase the stains to give you a grin you’re eager to show off. 

Leon Brannon Reed, DDS, of 1st American Dental in Tempe, Arizona, provides medical-grade teeth whitening that lifts the stains directly from the enamel. You can get stunning results in less than an hour, erasing years of accumulated stains from various sources. 

Dr. Reed and the team can whiten your teeth when they’re looking dull, yellow, or brown. If you familiarize yourself with some of the most common sources of tooth stains, you may be able to get teeth whitening less frequently or avoid the popular cosmetic treatment altogether. 

Why your teeth lose their luster

Your teeth don’t stay pearly white on their own. The natural aging process causes your teeth to gradually get duller and yellower over time. Keeping that in mind, being aware of the most common causes of tooth discoloration makes it easier to minimize staining. 

Here are five of the most common causes of stains and discoloration:

1. Tobacco products

Cigarettes are a common culprit. Whether you smoke or chew your tobacco, you’re more likely to see yellow or brown tones in your smile. While it’s difficult to stop using tobacco products, doing so helps preserve the brightness of your teeth. 

2. Dark-colored foods

Some of your favorite foods may be contributing to the stains on your teeth. Delicacies, like chocolate and berries, can leave pigments behind on your teeth if you eat them frequently. Additionally, starchy foods like bread and pasta attract bacteria which can increase tooth discoloration. Brushing after meals can keep discoloration from food to a minimum. 

3. Pigmented beverages

As difficult as it may be to skip your morning cup of coffee or tea, you may want to rethink the habit if you’re concerned about teeth staining. Other dark beverages, like red wine and cola, can also leave stains. However, using a straw helps much of the fluid bypass your teeth so they don’t stain. 

4. Poor oral hygiene

This goes without saying, but you need to brush your teeth twice a day. Neglecting basic oral hygiene leads to dental diseases, like cavities and gum disease, and can also cause extensive tooth discoloration. 

5. Certain medications

Various medications and some medical treatments (like chemotherapy) can darken your teeth. Certain antibiotics, especially when taken during early childhood, can leave behind a dark discoloration, as can some antihistamines and antipsychotic drugs. 

How to address the discoloration

Dr. Reed examines the stains and discoloration on your teeth to determine how teeth whitening can help. While extrinsic stains (stains of the enamel) lift quite easily, intrinsic stains (of the dentin) are a bit more challenging to remove. Fortunately, professional bleaching with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide can brighten both types. 

If you’re interested in starting 2023 with a brighter and whiter smile, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at 1st American Dental right away. 

1st American Dental
✆ Phone (appointments): 480-687-2266
✆ Phone (general inquiries): 480-687-2266
Address: 55 E Broadway Road, Tempe, AZ 85282