A number of factors can cause stains to develop on the surface of the teeth.
Everyone wants a beautiful and bright smile, but unfortunately stains and discolouration are common concerns. These issues can be caused by a number of factors, including certain foods and drinks and lifestyle habits. Read on to find out what contributes to tooth discolouration, and what you can do to prevent and resolve it…
What types of staining can occur?
There are three different types of tooth discolouration that can occur — these are extrinsic, intrinsic and age-related discolouration.
Extrinsic discolouration typically affects the enamel of the teeth and is most commonly caused by certain foods and drinks, as well as habits like smoking. Intrinsic discolouration, on the other hand, affects the inside of the teeth and goes beyond the surface. This type of discolouration can be caused by certain medications, as well as trauma to the tooth. Other factors that can lead to intrinsic discolouration include tooth decay and genetics.
Age-related discolouration of the teeth can occur when the enamel begins to wear away over time and the underlying yellow dentin is revealed. Extrinsic and intrinsic factors can both contribute to age-related tooth discolouration.
What causes stains?
There are a number of foods and drinks that can contribute to stains and discolouration of the teeth. Highly pigmented and acidic foods and drinks are among the most common culprits and include wine, coffee, tea, tomato-based sauces and fruits and berries like blueberries and pomegranates.
Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and chewing tobacco can also cause discolouration over time. Certain medications can also lead to stains, while tooth injuries can also cause the affected tooth to darken. Poor oral hygiene, as well as untreated tooth decay and a build-up of tartar can also cause the teeth to appear yellow or brown.
Black spots on the teeth are often caused by an untreated and advanced dental cavity, while white spots could be an early sign of a cavity.
Can you prevent stains?
It is often possible to prevent surface stains by avoiding foods and drinks that can lead to discolouration. If, however, you enjoy the occasional pigmented snack or drink, just be sure to brush and floss afterwards. If you are out and unable to brush, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of leftover particles in your mouth.
Practicing proper oral hygiene can also help to prevent discolouration and stains. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. You might also consider using a mouthwash as part of your routine.
If you smoke, we encourage you to try and quit the habit for the sake of your general and oral health. Chat to your dentist if you need some guidance or help in finding a smoking cessation program.
Can stains be removed?
Stains and discolouration are common cosmetic concerns, but fortunately they can often be resolved with professional whitening treatments. It is also a good idea to see your dentist for regular cleans, as this can help to get rid of surface stains and leave the teeth looking and feeling clean and bright.
If you are considering a whitening treatment, it is best to consult with your dentist as they will be able to advise you on the process that suits your particular needs. While there are countless over-the-counter whitening treatments available, professional treatments performed by or with the guidance of your dentist are much more effective and can achieve excellent results.
How can we help?
At G Dental, we offer quick and effective teeth whitening treatments. In fact, it is possible to lighten your teeth by up to 10 shades within just one treatment. The process is virtually painless, and can go a long way in improving the overall appearance of your smile.
If you would like to find out more about teeth whitening treatments at G Dental, please have a look here.
If you would like to arrange a consultation, please get in touch with us here or give us a call on 03 9435 6063.