Have you noticed the changing color of your teeth? Perhaps they have developed a yellow hue or have become less white than they used to be. Tooth stains and discoloration are common and are caused by various reasons. Fortunately, most of these strains are preventable and treatable. Continue reading to learn more about tooth discoloration and what you can do to keep your smile looking its best.

Tooth discoloration refers to changes in the color of the teeth. They might turn yellow or look less white and bright. They can even develop dark or white spots in certain places.

Tooth discoloration can have various causes: intrinsic or inside the body, extrinsic or outside the body, and age-related. There are several causes of tooth discoloration, including:

• Lifestyle. One main reason behind tooth discoloration is food and drinks. Consuming large amounts of coffee, soda, tea, red wine, red sauces, chocolate, and starchy foods all commonly cause tooth discoloration. There is also a high percentage of tooth discoloration among smokers because of tobacco.

• Aging. With aging, the outer layer of the tooth enamel slowly gets worn away, exposing the dentin. Dentin is the yellowish tissue making up the bulk of the teeth, which makes the teeth more vulnerable to decay and damage.

• Poor dental hygiene. Failing to brush or floss the teeth is a major cause of plaque and tartar buildup in the teeth and gums. It is especially important to clean your teeth after consuming pigmented food and beverages. If you cannot, at least rinse your mouth.

• Disease. Diseases that prevent the natural development of dentin and enamel can cause tooth discoloration. Also, some treatments like chemotherapy and radiation for the neck and head can cause discoloration in the teeth.

• Medication. Certain medications like doxycycline and tetracycline can cause discoloration in the teeth when given to children, particularly those below 8 years of age because they can affect enamel formation. Antihistamines like antihypertensive medication, antipsychotic drugs, and antihistamines also cause tooth discoloration. Also, rinses and mouthwashes with cetylpyridinium and chlorhexidine can cause staining on the teeth.

• Genetics. There are families that have naturally brighter and thicker enamel than others, while others are prone to tooth discoloration. Depending on the kind of discoloration that exists in the family, you can take additional preventive measures to protect your teeth.

• Environmental factors. Environmental factors play a role in tooth discoloration, particularly during teeth formation. For instance, excessive fluoride exposure from naturally high fluoride levels in water or fluoride applications, rinses, and toothpaste can lead to fluorosis, causing mild to severe tooth discoloration.

There are a few easy lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent tooth discoloration. First and most important is to brush and floss. It also helps to pick the right toothpaste, eat a proper diet, drink lots of water, use a straw and quit smoking. Finally, get regular dental checkups from a trusted dentist in your area for periodic checkups and cleaning.

Remember that your smile is an asset so you need to take time to protect it. Use the information above to learn more about tooth discoloration and how you can prevent it from happening to you. If you have discoloration on your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist so you can explore options on how to remove them and bring your teeth back to life.

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Daniel is a professional Dentist in Castle Hills of Lewisville, The Colony, Tx and genuinely cares about the health and well-being of teeth and gums. Visit my website: D. Dental