October 18, 2021

What Causes Discoloration In Teeth

You may have had sparkling white teeth when you were younger. After decades of life, things have changed.  Now, you may be quite self-conscious when you talk and smile. What happened to your shiny bright smile?  At Taylorview Dental in Idaho Falls, ID, Dr Brett David and Dr. Lauren Davis fully understand that when you are unhappy with the way your smile looks, it can seriously impact your self-confidence and happiness. We offer several options for tooth discoloration treatment which involves teeth whitening and education on the best way to prevent your teeth from discoloring.

What causes discoloration in my teeth?

Discoloration of teeth can happen for a variety of reasons.  There may be intrinsic or extrinsic factors causing dulling of the color of your teeth.  Intrinsic means something within your body is causing it. Extrinsic means that external factors that you may or may not have control over are the cause.  Causes of teeth discoloration may be:

  • Food and drink: Particularly coffee or other dark liquids such as wine, soda, chocolate, or tea can stain your teeth.
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Trauma: A fall or other accident that disrupts blood flow to the teeth can cause discoloration.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Not regularly brushing and flossing and avoiding regular dental cleanings can lead to plaque accumulation on the teeth and in turn lead to discoloration.
  • Medications: If you were given the antibiotics tetracycline or doxycycline as a child, these are well known to cause tooth discoloration later in life.  Antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medications have also been known to cause discoloration of the teeth.
  • Disease: Certain types of illness may affect the enamel of your teeth, leading to discoloration.  Also, treatments for a specific illness, such as chemotherapy and radiation have been known to cause discoloring.
  • Aging: There is nothing you can do about this one.  As we age, enamel wears away, exposing the layer of dentin underneath.  The natural color of this dentin is yellow. 
  • Genetics: You may just be unlucky in the color of teeth that you inherited from your parents. Some people are blessed with stronger, thicker and brighter enamel.
  • Environment: The water that you drink and the air that you breathe may have a negative effect on the color of your teeth.

Tooth discoloration treatment services we provide

Here at Taylorview Dental, we provide several different options for you to choose from regarding tooth discoloration treatment, teeth whitening, and education on the best way to prevent your teeth from discoloring.  Your dentist will explain each option to you and guide you in choosing the treatment that would be best for you. 

An in-office treatment consists of using a peroxide bleach gel on your teeth to break down stains.  This gel is kept cold through refrigeration so as not to allow for the whitening agent to break down.  It is a simple procedure. We provide several at-home options as well, that you may find more convenient.  These options are:

  • At-home whitening kits: If you would rather not have an in-office whitening treatment for the sake of time, at-home whitening kits may be the choice for you.
  • Whitening toothpaste: We can provide you with an ADA-approved toothpaste that is intended to remove stains and brighten your smile.
  • Over the counter bleaching products: This is another at-home option consisting of strips or pastes that contain a low concentration of bleach that can effectively whiten your teeth.

Methods to prevent your teeth from discoloring

Whether you choose to have teeth whitening treatment or are just looking for the best way to prevent your teeth from discoloring, there are habits you can adopt to either maintain your newly brightened smile or prevent it from discoloring in the first place. 

  • It's always a good idea to rinse out your mouth after drinking coffee, grape juice, wine, and other dark liquids.  There is no need to avoid these completely, but it is suggested to limit them and take care not to allow them to stain your teeth by brushing or rinsing after you have them.
  • Quit smoking
  • Regularly brush, floss, use an antibacterial mouthwash and schedule consistent dental check-ups and cleaning.
  • If you notice a change in the shade of your teeth and are unsure of the reason, consult a dentist ASAP.
  • Using a straw when drinking dark liquids can prevent them from staining your teeth.

If the color of your teeth concerns you or you are interested in stopping discoloration of your teeth before it begins, schedule a consultation with Taylorview Dental in Idaho Falls, ID with Dr Brett David and Dr. Lauren Davis by calling 208-522-4491.