Why Do Our Teeth Become Discolored?

At Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we can offer cosmetic treatments to improve the shade of your smile. We can recommend teeth whitening to brighten your teeth or veneers to mask discoloration. But why do our teeth become stained in the first place? Is it the food we eat or our daily habits? Understanding the causes of discoloration can help you make better choices to limit the severity of future teeth stains.

Smoking and Tobacco Use

When you smoke or use other tobacco products, yellow or brown stains can form on your teeth. However, the negative impact of tobacco use isn’t limited to stained teeth. You can also develop oral, throat, and lung cancer, as well as chronic bad breath. To safeguard your overall health against serious complications, we suggest you stop smoking right away.

Foods and Drinks

Foods and drinks high in sugar and other starches can lead to plaque buildup, which makes the appearance of stains more apparent. In addition, foods and drinks that contain dark pigments (such as tea, coffee, berries, fruit juice, and soda) can also lead to discoloration. By eating healthier and drinking more water you can often help your teeth stay bright.

Other Factors

Teeth stains aren’t just caused by foods and drinks or smoking. Other factors can include overexposure to fluoride at a young age, known as fluorosis. Injury to the teeth can also lead to intrinsic teeth stains (discoloration that forms in the dentin beneath the enamel). You can also develop stained teeth as a result of tetracycline use at a young age. Before we recommend a teeth whitening procedure we will assess the factors behind your discoloration. If you have any questions about teeth stain prevention or tips for brightening your smile, please contact our office today.