Tooth discolouration and staining are extremely common. Though it is often a sign of poor oral health, the truth is that there are many factors that cause it.
Types of Tooth Discolouration
There are three types of tooth discolouration: intrinsic, extrinsic, and age-related staining.
Extrinsic stains affect the enamel, which is the outermost layer of the teeth. Enamel staining is often caused by food and drinks that stain, including tea, coffee, and any food that has a lot of food colouring. Smoking and chewing tobacco also stain teeth.
Plaque build-up and tartar can also affect the whiteness of your teeth.
Intrinsic stains are a bit more complex — the discolouration is in the inner layer of the tooth, called the dentin. Dentin can become discoloured for a variety of reasons.
Too much exposure to fluoride, the use of certain antibiotics, and dental trauma as a child can all cause intrinsic staining. Some discolouration can also be genetic.
Intrinsic staining is much more difficult to treat as it affects the inner layers of the tooth. The discolouration shows underneath the enamel, as the topmost layer of the teeth is somewhat translucent.
Finally, there is age-related staining, which is often a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Ageing can also cause the enamel to wear away and become thinner, exposing the colour of the dentin.
What to do if you have discoloured teeth:
If you have extrinsic stains, the easiest way to lighten them would be to get tooth-whitening treatments. How much does tooth whitening cost? Well, it depends on what kind of treatment you are getting.
You can start with a general cleaning first, such as our Diamond Clean service, which starts at £35 on top of your regular hygiene treatment fee. This should remove some extrinsic stains.
However, deeper staining may require dental bleaching, such as our Zoom Whitening treatments. Zoom Whitening is an in-house tooth whitening technique that uses a special whitening cream that is cured using a wand. This gives you almost instantly white teeth. Our Zoom treatments start at £225.
If you have stubborn intrinsic stains, you may need veneers to get a whiter smile. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are cemented to the outer portion of your teeth to give them a whiter finish.
Of course, once you have white teeth, you want to make sure to keep it white for as long as you can. Make sure that you practice good oral hygiene, by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
You should also avoid food and drink that stains your teeth, and drink a lot of clear, fresh water. Water helps remineralise your teeth and keeps them strong and healthy. It also prevents cavities.
You can also eat foods that keep your teeth strong and healthy, such as celery, apples, and other fresh, crunchy vegetables.
Tooth staining and discolouration may be embarrassing, but it is a relatively easy fix. Visit our Diana Dental Practice today for a consultation, and get the white teeth that you have always dreamed of.