Causes of Teeth Discoloration and Teeth Whitening Remedies

Causes of Teeth Discoloration and Teeth Whitening Remedies

Nov 01, 2020

Teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to make them lighter. Research shows that in 2015 alone, Americans spent more than $11 billion on various teeth whitening products and procedures. This article looks at what causes tooth discoloration and the various options available for whitening your teeth.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Your teeth can change color from white to brown or yellow over time for several reasons; they include:

  • Food and drinks – Various food types and drinks like coffee, tea, and wine cause teeth stains because of their intense color pigment attaching to your tooth’s enamel.
  • Tobacco use – Tar and nicotine in tobacco can also create stubborn stains on your teeth.
  • Trauma – Your tooth may change color if you have been hit as it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, a darker layer found under the enamel.
  • Age – Over time, the enamel gets thinner due to brushing, and more of the dentin shows, leading to discoloration.
  • Medication – Some medications like those prescribed to people with high blood pressure can cause tooth darkening. Young children exposed to some antibiotics like tetracycline when their teeth are forming may develop tooth discoloration when they grow into adults later. Chemotherapy and some radiations can also cause tooth darkening.
  • Poor dental hygiene – Plaque and stains can be caused by failure to brush or floss your teeth properly.
  • Disease – Diseases that prevent the normal growth of the enamel can lead to darkening of the tooth.
  • Dental materials – Some amalgam fillings like those containing silver sulfide can give a grey-black cast to your teeth, causing discoloration.
  • Environment – If your teeth are exposed to excess fluoride while developing, they may develop a darker shade. Some environmental sources like water can contain high fluoride levels, which causes the darkening of the tooth.

Teeth Whitening Services

Here are whitening suggestions that a dentist in Albert Street Dentistry may offer depending on the type of staining you have:

  • Zoom Teeth Whitening

This is a quick method where the dentist uses a low-heat lamp to activate a whitening gel and remove the stains and discoloration. The light used for this procedure hits all your teeth simultaneously hence saving on time and multiple office visits.

  • Laser Teeth Whitening

The dentist applies a whitening gel and activates it with a special dental laser to bleach the teeth.

  • Take-Home Trays

This is one of the most recommended options. Trays are designed to protect your gums from irritation. A whitening solution is fixed using these trays. This service is highly effective when correctly done.

  • Stain Removal Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste helps remove stains on the surface of your tooth. They are designed to remove stain a little at a time using the polish method while brushing.

  • Home-Use Whiteners

These contain a chemical called peroxide, which lightens the tooth enamel. This method can be applied using trays, strips, or a brush. They are meant to be used over time to make changes.

Our cosmetic dentist offers the above types of teeth whitening treatment in Ottawa, ON.

At-Home Natural Bleaching Remedies

Tooth discoloration can also be treated using some home remedies if you want to avoid the chemicals used in bleaching products. These options include:

  • Use of baking soda
  • Limiting sugar intake
  • Oil pulling – This involves using coconut oil or sunflower
  • Use of charcoal powder, orange peel, or turmeric powder
  • Consumption of more calcium
  • Eating fruits and vegetables

When Does Whitening Not Work?

Teeth bleaching is not the right choice for everyone. People with tooth decay and gum disease are advised to seek treatment before trying whitening procedures. The procedure may also not work on people whose gums have receded away from their teeth. Teeth whitening does not change the color of some stains, dental crowns and fillings.

You are advised to inquire from a dentist before going for teeth bleaching. Our dentist in Ottawa, ON, will guide you on selecting the best teeth whitening method.

Are There Any Teeth Whitening Side Effects?

  • There’s a possibility that your teeth may be sensitive to very hot or cold temperatures for a few days after whitening.
  • It may also irritate the gums.
  • Over whitening may occur if the directions given are not followed. This can harm your enamel.

Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration After Dental Whitening

  • Use a straw while drinking stain-causing beverages
  • Cut down or quit smoking
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