Beginner’s Guide to Teeth Whitening: Types and Causes

Beginner’s Guide to Teeth Whitening: Types and Causes

Jan 01, 2021

A set of gorgeous pearly whites is distinct in that it carries a natural brightness and spark. If your teeth are stained and discolored, it may be time to learn about tooth staining and discoloration and how professional teeth whitening in Westwood, MA, can help you regain confidence in your smile.

Teeth Discoloration and Staining 

Teeth discoloration occurs when your teeth lose their natural whiteness. They become either yellowish, grayish, brownish, and in bad cases, blackish, due to more severe causes.

Most discolored teeth can be traced to poor oral hygiene or eating and drinking habits that have direct negative impacts on teeth. In rarer instances, there may be underlying causes such as diseases or medications you are taking.

Cosmetic dentistry in Westwood, MA, is a great solution to teeth discoloration and staining.

2 Types of Staining

Extrinsic Staining

This type of staining usually appears only on the enamel of teeth. The enamel, being the outer layer of your pearly whites, serves as the first line of defense for your teeth. It is also known as the body’s hardest substance. Yet when thinned, it will lose its strength little by little, bringing about discoloration.

Intrinsic Staining

This type of staining takes place within the tooth itself. Thus, over-the-counter teeth whitening products may not work on intrinsic discoloration.

Instead of a mere yellowish film covering a tooth, intrinsic stains are reflected in a grayish hue.

Causes of Tooth Staining

  • Food and beverage

Although it is generally believed that any kind of food and drink can, at some level, affect teeth coloring, there are specific ones that immediately and very rapidly cause teeth to lose their natural whiteness. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Red wine, red sauces, berries (these contain high amounts of chromogens)
  • Tea and coffee (caffeine)
  • Chocolates and artificial sweets
  • Tobacco and Tobacco Products

Clinical researches show that tar in nicotine is easily absorbed by the pores of your teeth. Once absorbed, they become a dark yellowish or brownish hue.

In addition to this, as nicotine mixes with oxygen, it turns yellow as it touches your teeth.

We also want to point out that nicotine impedes blood flow. In fact, it slows it down and even reduces it. When this happens, and blood flow becomes unstable, your teeth and gums will weaken. This weakening may contribute to tooth discoloration as well.

  • Age

Teeth go through a natural cycle of deterioration as a person gets older. This cycle of deterioration can become aggravated and expedited, especially if you do not practice good oral care. Age-related staining appears similar to extrinsic staining because of its yellowish color.

However, the difference is that it is possible for age-related staining to have both extrinsic and intrinsic components. Due to the fact that it is more difficult to classify than the first two, you should consult with our Westwood dentist to identify the category of teeth-staining you have.

  • Antibiotics

There is a particular antibiotic that, according to the Food and Drug Administration, is interlinked with tooth staining. This medication is often prescribed to children, and it acts as a strong agent against bacterial growth.

As this antibiotic is consumed in doses during a child’s tooth calcification and mineralization cycle, there is a strong possibility that tooth staining will occur. This type of staining is permanent.

  • Tartar Build-Up

Here’s one more of the most common causes for teeth discoloration–tartar build-up. If your teeth are riddled with plaque and tartar, your dentist will have to deal with these issues first. That is, before moving towards cosmetic whitening. After they have been dealt with, you can proceed with teeth whitening near you, Zoom Teeth Whitening, or other cosmetic dental procedures that can remove or cover stains on your teeth.

When the enamel of your teeth is eaten away by tooth decay, the result will be brown stains around the affected areas. Along with this, when acids from cavity-causing foods and drinks break down the enamel, the process itself will cause the yellow core of your teeth to become more visible.

If you would like to schedule a consultation for cosmetic dentistry near you, contactWestwood Dental Group. In addition to teeth whitening, we offer a comprehensive array of cosmetic dental procedures that can give you a brighter smile.

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