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Reasons and Remedies for Tooth Discoloration

No one feels great about having dark and discolored teeth. This common dental health care problem decreases self-confidence. Learn what can be done to achieve the white smile you’ve been dreaming about.

Causes of Cases of Stained Teeth

There are several different reasons why a person may develop stained or discolored teeth. Sometimes our teeth become discolored due to the natural process of aging. This process wears down the layer of enamel on the teeth and exposes the darker-colored dentin beneath. Tooth trauma and certain medications can also cause discoloration. Outside forces such as tobacco use, the foods we eat and the beverages we drink can also cause staining.

The Food and Beverages You Consume May Cause Tooth Discoloration

Some of your favorite foods and beverages could be causing your teeth to become discolored. The below foods can all lead to a discolored smile that you will want to hide from the world:

  • Sugary Beverages – Soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice are all full of acids and sugars that attack the enamel and eventually cause discoloration.
  • Dark Drinks – Coffee, red wine, and tea can lead to staining, as well as enamel erosion.
  • Sweet Snacks – Gums, candies, and other sweets are full of dangerous sugars that destroy the enamel.
  • Starch-Stuffed Foods – Potatoes, cereals, rice, pastas, and white breads are full of sugar that depletes the enamel of the teeth.

Foods You Can Eat That Fight Stained Teeth

Maintaining a balanced diet that is full of a variety of nutrients will help you to keep your smile happy and healthy looking. Consider eating the following foods on a regular basis:

  • Water – Water is always the best choice when it comes to beverages. It keeps you hydrated, and it also rinses the mouth of any acids, sugars, or food particles that can eventually lead to erosion and discoloration.
  • Sugar-Free Drinks – While these aren’t as beneficial as water is, they are still a good choice because they can rinse out particles and substances that cause erosion.
  • Milk and Cheese – Dairy is full of calcium and protein that make the teeth stronger and less prone to enamel erosion and decay. In addition, dairy products increase saliva flow and neutralize acids in the mouth.
  • Fish and Flax Seeds – These foods are full of the anti-inflammatory nutrients known as omega-3 fatty acids. Any type of food that contains anti-inflammatory properties can help in gum disease prevention.
  • Cocoa – Studies have shown that cocoa lessens inflammation and provides protection from tooth erosion and decay.

Can Smoking Lead to Stained Teeth?

Stained teeth are an issue that many smokers live with. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to address the issue and make your smile whiter.

Learn the Truth About Cigarettes and Stained Teeth

One of the primary causes of stained teeth is tobacco use. Keep away from cigarettes and tobacco in any of its forms if you desire to keep your smile white. Not only does tobacco cause a number of problems for your overall health, but it also increases the risk of staining, periodontal disease and oral cancer.

What You Can Do to Address Stained Teeth Caused by Smoking

While the majority of people know how dangerous smoking can be, they simply aren’t ready to give up the habit yet. If this describes you, there are things that you can do to lessen the impact that smoking has on the color of your teeth. Here’s what you can do to eliminate smoking stains:

  • Maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Brush, floss, and use antibacterial mouthwashes daily.
  • Have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year at minimum.
  • Brush after consuming meals or smoking cigarettes.

Whitening Your Smile Is Not Just Smoke and Mirrors

Stained teeth don’t have to be an unavoidable and untreatable side effect of smoking. The multitude of options available for you to choose from when it comes to whitening your teeth is astounding. Remember, if you continue to smoke after receiving whitening treatments it is likely that staining will return at a later date. The below treatment options should be discussed with your dentist so that you can find out which one best meets your whitening needs:

  • Tooth whitening toothpastes that you purchase at the store. These may lessen slight stains. They may also lead to tooth sensitivity.
  • At-home tooth whitening treatment kits that you purchase from the store. These can reduce minor stains. They can also lead to sensitive teeth.
  • Whitening treatments performed by a dental professional in the office. These result in whiter, brighter teeth in a fast timeframe.

How to Prevent Stained Teeth

Preventing stained teeth isn’t a difficult task. Here are a few precautions that you can take in order to ensure that your teeth stay as white as possible:

  • Maintain a consistent at-home oral hygiene routine that includes brushing, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwashes.
  • Be sure to brush your teeth whenever you consume food.
  • Swish your mouth out with water after you have a dark-colored beverage.
  • Receive timely dental care when issues pop up.
  • Get your teeth cleaned professionally twice a year.

Treatments That Tackle Stained Teeth

The variety of tooth whitening treatment options available to you may surprise you. Some of the most popular treatments include:

  • Professional whitening treatments at a dentist’s office, which provide patients with dramatic and fast results.
  • Professional at-home whitening kits that you receive from a dentist, which remove most types of staining.
  • Over-the-counter whitening kits, which remove slight stains and aren’t as powerful as professional treatments.
  • Toothpastes designed to whiten the teeth, which can remove light stains.
  • Dental veneers or crowns that can cover discoloration that can’t be treated via whitening products.

If you’d like to learn more about which option could be the best one for you to utilize, speak with a dentist at your next appointment.

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