Stains and Discolouration…Why Does it Happen?

Stains and Discolouration…Why Does it Happen?

Before and after view of teeth whitening

Teeth can become discoloured over time, both naturally and from external reasons. A shiny set of sparkling teeth often seem more attractive, healthy, and can give you extra confidence in your smile. Why does discolouration happen, and how can we avoid it to maintain our pearly whites?

There are a few reason why you may notice discolouration in your teeth:

1. Extrinsic

This typically occurs from staining on the outer layer of your teeth, called the enamel. Staining can be caused by drinks and food such as coffee and wine. Smoking is also another major stain-causer against your enamel.

2. Intrinsic

This occurs when the inner structure of your tooth (the dentin) gets a yellow tint or becomes darker. Intrinsic discolouration can be caused by a few reasons such as, too much fluoride during early childhood, past trauma to the tooth, or hereditary reasons, to name a few.

3. Age Related

Naturally, dentin becomes more yellow over time. This a due to a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic factors. With age, the enamel around your teeth gets thinner which allows the dentin to appear more noticeable.

How Do We Avoid Discolouration?

With good oral hygiene and maintenance, there are steps that you can take to keep your set as shiny as possible!

1. Brush you teeth regularly – This cleaning method will help remove stains that may have built up during the day

2. Rinse with water after every meal – This is especially important to wash away stain-causing foods or drinks such as coffee and wine before they set in.

3. Regular dental visits – Regular cleanings with your dental hygienist will help to remove stains that are too tough for just your regular at-home oral routine.

Without proper maintenance, stains that go unnoticed or uncared for can become permanent.

If you are concerned that you have permanent staining with your teeth, there are procedures that can still be taken to get your teeth back to where they once were.

Our team at Signal Hill Dental Centre is happy to assist if you have any questions or concerns about teeth discolouration. Feel free to ask during your next dental visit, or book in a consultation.