Our teeth are exposed to a wide range of factors that can be detrimental to them. This can result in a yellow discolouration, a common but reversible condition. Whitening teeth can be a great confidence boost by enhancing your smile.
What can cause tooth discolouration?
Tooth discoloration can have many underlying causes: it can be caused by the consumption of certain foods and drinks, primarily coffee, tea, wine, soft drinks, and some fruits and vegetables (e.g. apple or potatoes). Smoking cigarettes or using other forms of tobacco like chewing tobacco is also capable of causing a yellow discoloration of the teeth. Poor oral health and hygiene resulting from insufficient brushing can enhance these detrimental effects of tobacco and the aforementioned foods and drinks. Often the cause of tooth discoloration is not simply an environmental factor, but various diseases that can affect the surface enamel of the teeth, or the dentin (the centre of the teeth under the enamel). Chemotherapy or radiation therapy received for conditions such as cancer can also have an effect on tooth colour. When doctors prescribe strong antibiotics as a treatment for infections, teeth discolouration can be experienced as a side effect. Tetracycline and Doxycycline in particular have been reported to have this side effect. Genetics also play a role in tooth colour as some people have inherited naturally brighter enamels. Ageing also affects tooth colour. This is due to the progressive destruction of the enamel over time, which results in the dentin’s naturally yellow colour being exposed.
What can you do to mitigate tooth discolouration?
A dentist in Southgate offers a variety of teeth whitening treatments.
The first one is the Standard Teeth Whitening, which comes with personalised bleaching trays, a sachet or tube of one of the most efficient whitening gels available, and a review appointment after the treatment.
The second one is the Premium Teeth Whitening, which is performed using the Enlighten technology, one of the newest treatments. It is a mixture of surgical and home-based teeth whitening procedures. The first appointment consists of a consultation, followed by a mould being taken of the patient’s mouth, after which a personalised bleaching tray is created. On the second appointment the bleaching tray is fitted on the patient’s teeth, and advice on how to use it is supplied. As teeth whitening may cause tooth sensitivity, a desensitising treatment is applied on the second visit to relieve it. The third visit gives patients the opportunity to choose whether they would like surgical teeth whitening to be performed or not, depending on the results.
Home remedies for tooth whitening
There is a wide variety of home remedies for tooth discolouration available too, with varying efficiency and safety. Oil pulling, the traditional Indian folk practice is one of these: practicing oil pulling with coconut oil is claimed by many people to whiten teeth, however there is no scientific evidence despite it having beneficial effects on the oral microbiome. Brushing teeth with hydrogen peroxide or baking soda is also known to whiten teeth, however there is no scientific evidence supporting their legitimacy for teeth whitening, and hydrogen peroxide can cause gum irritation.
There are many treatments available for tooth discolouration, however; prevention is definitely the best treatment. This can be done by limiting the intake of foods and drinks that can create tooth stains, and quitting smoking.