Many people believe that stained teeth are caused exclusively by poor oral hygiene. While that may be a contributing factor, even the best-cared-for teeth can become discolored over time. Various substances, like juice, coffee, tea, dark cola, red wine and even certain antibiotics, can cause the teeth to stain. One reason for discoloration and stained teeth is deposition of staining agents below the tooth surface over time.
The obvious factors also apply; smokers and people with poor oral hygiene or lifestyle habits are very likely end up with stained teeth. Keep in mind: many factors, including diet and smoking, contribute to stained teeth. There are many things we do on a daily bases that can cause our teeth to become stained and discolored. Over time, the problem can grow worse. Here are the most common causes of tooth discoloration.
Foods and beverages that can stain your teeth include soy sauce, berries, black tea, coffee, red wines, curries, colas and red fruit juices. Acidic foods and beverages or extreme changes of hot and cold can cause teeth pores to expand, which also may allow stains to penetrate. Avoiding or limiting how often these foods are consumed is one way of protecting against staining.
In addition to serious health complications, tobacco products cause yellowed and stained teeth. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chew are the most common uses of tobacco, all of which will stain teeth with continued use. Bottom line: don’t smoke.
If a significant amount of water containing high levels of fluoride is consumed, brownish stains on teeth may appear. This is especially true for those who drink water with high levels of fluoride during childhood.
When used in excess, fluoride can cause tooth discoloration in children, as can tetracycline and derivative compounds of tetracycline such as minocycline and doxycycline. Minocycline has also been reported to cause teeth discoloration in adults.
Aging, tooth decay and tooth trauma are also common causes of discoloration. Additional attention to cleaning may be necessary to maintain white teeth in later stages of adulthood. Any trauma, illness or disease that affects enamel development in children— in the womb or while teeth are developing— can lead to discolored teeth. Trauma to adult teeth can also cause discolored teeth. In addition, a number of diseases and disease treatments can cause discolored teeth.
Maintain Clean Teeth:
The good news is that maintaining a clean, plaque-free smile is possible. Keep a few tips in mind to maintain clean teeth. First, remember to rinse away stains by brushing your teeth. If you are unable to brush your teeth after consuming food or beverages that may stain your teeth, preserve clean teeth by rinsing your mouth with water or a dental rinse. Next, eat right. Eating a balanced diet including the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables will help promote clean teeth. Finally, if you have not already done so, quit smoking. Smoking is one of the top factors that undermine clean teeth. And of course, visit your dentist regularly to ensure that you are on the right path in your oral health plan.