What Causes Teeth Staining?

As we age, almost everyone will experience some kind of teeth staining or discoloration. These stains can interfere with the aesthetics of your smile, which can in turn negatively impact your confidence. However, although some degree of tooth discoloration is inevitable, you can help slow the process by avoiding the common causes of staining.

Some of the most common sources of tooth discoloration are:

  • Food: Certain foods, including coffee, tea, berries, cola, and tomato sauce, can stain teeth over time. Acidic foods, like citrus fruits and vinegars, can also break down the protective enamel of your teeth, increasing your susceptibility to staining.
  • Smoking: In addition to being bad for your health, using tobacco products can result in brown stains and general yellowing of the teeth.
  • Medication: Some medications, including tetracycline, can cause discoloration, which is often particularly stubborn to remove.
  • Tooth damage: Cracks in your teeth and general damage to your enamel can make your teeth more susceptible to staining.

In addition to the various causes of staining, there are also different types of stains. Most discoloration is treatable with teeth whitening procedures. Here at The Art of Dentistry, we offer both take-home whitening kits and in-office Zoom® whitening treatments, depending on patient preference and the severity of the staining.

However, some discoloration is resistant to whitening treatments. This typically occurs in cases where the enamel has thinned significantly, exposing the underlying dentin, which naturally yellows over time. There are also natural variations in terms of tooth color and opacity that can impact the look of your smile, which can make some people self-conscious. In cases like these, Dr. Robin Rutherford offers the option of porcelain dental veneers, which are thin layers of porcelain that adhere to the surface of the tooth. Porcelain veneers can effectively conceal almost any type of dental discoloration, and Dr. Rutherford can help you customize the look of your veneers to achieve the aesthetic goals you desire.

If you struggle with tooth discoloration and would like to learn more about your whitening options, please contact The Art of Dentistry today! Our experienced team is happy to answer any questions you may have or to schedule you an appointment with Dr. Rutherford.

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