By Hriday Hothi
Learn about 5 reasons that lead to yellow teeth and how to get rid of that stained tooth colour and have a whiter, brighter smile!
An average person invests a lot of time and money in their facial aesthetics to boost their self-confidence. Whether this be getting weekly-haircuts or getting permanent plastic surgery, one always seems to be chasing after the perfect skin, hair and esthetics. Tied into this image is your smile! White teeth are a sign of health. It exudes self confidence when you walk into a room with a big smile that shows off your teeth.1 One of the common factors that affect people’s confidence is their tooth-colour.
Here’s 5 reasons that cause yellow teeth and how to avoid them.
- Diet: foods and drinks are the major causes of tooth discoloration. Coffee, tea, red wine, sodas and dark coloured juices like cranberry juice cause tooth discoloration. Blueberries, beets, soy sauce and tomato sauce are also big culprits for staining teeth. The frequency you are eating and drinking coloured foods will determine how yellow your teeth will be over time.
- ✔️ Use a Straw: Discoloration from drinks can be minimized by using a straw. This prevents the drinks from coming in contact with the visible surfaces of your teeth.
- ✔️ If you are a regular coffee drinker try cut back on the amount that you drink. It is also recommended that you drink coffee mixed with milk or cream rather than black coffee.
- Aging: As you age, the outer layer of enamel gets worn away, exposing the yellow inner layer called dentin. This is a normal process, but is made faster by erosion of enamel that occurs due to exposure to acids or physical abrasion of the tooth surface.
Additionally, the thickness of your dentin grows as you age, increasing the visibility of the yellow color if the enamel has been worn off. The goal is to prevent your enamel from erroding or wearing down.
- ✔️ Toothpaste can be abrasive and cause your tooth to wear down. Use a low abrasive toothpaste like Pronamel.
- ✔️ Minimize foods and drinks that are acidic such as soda, lemon water, fruits such as grapes, oranges and wait to brush 30 minutes after consuming these.
- ✔️ Use a soft or extra soft toothbrush, never a medium or hard bristled brush.
There are a lot of options of treatment to whiten these worn off teeth such as bondings, crowns, professional whitening and so on. It is important that you consult your dental professional to find out the right treatment for you.
- Smoking: is one of the major causes for discolored or yellow teeth. In a study done in 2005, it was found that smokers are significantly more likely to have discolored teeth than non-smokers.3 Other smoking habits other than cigarettes are not much better for your oral health either. Smoking marijuana leaves residue which stains your teeth and also wears down the enamel, exposing the yellow dentin. Although vapes do not contain tar, they still usually contain nicotine which also stains your teeth.
- ✔️ If you smoke and already have tooth staining, it is essential to brush twice a day for 2 minutes each and floss once a day to prevent further staining from progressing at a fast rate
- ✔️It is recommended that smokers brush after tobacco or nicotine use. Since this is not always possible, you can rinse their mouth after smoking to get rid of any residue from your mouth. It is highly recommended that one should quit smoking, not only for your oral hygiene, but also your overall health.
- Bad Oral Hygiene: Poor oral care is another leading cause of tooth discoloration. Inadequate brushing or flossing have been linked with significant discoloration of teeth.
- ✔️ Brush twice a day for two minutes and also floss once for cleaning your whole tooth. Just brushing your teeth only covers 60% of the tooth’s surface, hence flossing is necessary for a thorough cleaning4.
- ✔️ Regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist are key in maintaining a pearly white smile.
- Drugs: Certain antibiotics have been linked to permanent tooth discolouration by the FDA5. There is a direct correlation between antibiotics containing tetracycline and having permanent tooth discoloration. If this is the reason for your tooth discoloration, your teeth will have a gray tone to them. Tetracycline antibiotics induced discoloration is not very common in North America currently and is usually found in the age groups of individuals above 40 years old.
✔️ Talk to your dentist for treatment options to get rid of the discolouration.
Whitening Options to deal with above issues include:
✔️ Custom take home whitening kits
✔️Deep bleaching with in-office whitening procedure,