Even if you take care of your teeth, brushing and flossing every day, you may find that they are not as white as you’d like.
If you have yellow, stained teeth, the causes will be something you want to know about — know that there are lots of reasons and yellow teeth are not something to be ashamed of.
That’s why we’re going to take a look at stained teeth causes and what you can do to improve the appearance of your teeth in our latest blog post.
Let’s find out about tooth anatomy
First, a quick lesson in tooth anatomy to help you understand stained teeth and their cause.
Each tooth has four layers:
- Enamel, the protective outer layer (the hardest substance in the body!)
- Dentine, the second layer, pale yellow in colour, which comprises living tissue that connects with the nerve of your tooth
- Pulp, located in the centre of your tooth — this layer is made up of blood vessels and nerves
- Cementum, connective tissue that runs along the roots of the teeth and fixes them to the jaw and gums
Dentine gives your teeth their colour, as the enamel is quite clear. So, issues with your dentine can affect the look of your teeth.
Why are my teeth stained?
Your teeth may take on a stained or yellowish appearance, even if you have a great oral hygiene routine.
Staining on the outermost layer of the teeth, the enamel, can be caused by substances you consume — for example, tea, coffee, red wine and tobacco.
You may also notice a build-up of hardened plaque, called tartar, which has a brownish appearance.
Your dentine can get stained too. This can be caused by:
- Consuming too much fluoride when your teeth were developing as a child
- Certain medications such as tetracycline antibiotics
- Damage to the tooth’s nerve
- Tooth decay
- Genetic factors
In addition, if you brush your teeth too vigorously, you may erode the enamel to reveal the dentine, which is naturally more yellow in colour.
As you age, your dentine will become more yellow and your enamel will thin, so your teeth will appear a darker shade.
How can I improve the appearance of my teeth?
If you’re unhappy with the look of your teeth, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your dentist.
They can assess whether your enamel or dentine is affected and advise on the appropriate steps.
For example, if your teeth aren’t badly stained, it could be that a simple clean will improve their appearance considerably (and they’ll feel great too!).
You might be a suitable candidate for teeth whitening if only the enamel is involved.
If your enamel has worn away exposing the dentine, your dentist can offer treatment so that the problem doesn’t get worse and to cover up the exposed area.
Or you might want to consider veneers for a more dramatic smile makeover.
Get a sparkling smile with your dentist in Te Atatu
There are lots of different reasons why you might have stained or discoloured teeth — and lots of solutions too!
The first step is to come and see your local dentist for the Te Atatu Peninsula here at Opal Dental.
We can advise which treatment would work for you and help you restore your smile so that it’s sparkling clean!
Give the team at Opal Dental a shout and let’s get to work on those pearly whites!