No one likes looking in the mirror, smiling and seeing a row of dull, yellow teeth staring back at them. Yet, dullness and discoloration in teeth can happen to anyone. Even if you see your dentist regularly, and practice good oral hygiene, you can still encounter less than gleaming white teeth at some point in your life. You may even find that your teeth become dull several months after getting a good whitening treatment done. Much of the discoloration in teeth occurs both extrinsically and intrinsically. This means that there are stains and discoloring that occur to the outer layer or enamel of the teeth and there are stains that occur on the inside layer or dentin of the teeth. If you are getting older, your teeth can become discolored by both extrinsic and intrinsic causes.
Extrinsic causes of tooth discoloration can be due to numerous factors. When your teeth are discolored on the enamel, it is often due to causes other than poor hygiene. Smoking can cause extrinsic stains, and so can coffee, red wine, dark-colored colas and certain foods like berries. If you fail to take good care of your teeth, you can expect that staining and discoloration will occur, but even if you do practice good oral care, you can still experience extrinsic discoloration simply as a process of aging.
Intrinsic Causes of Tooth Discoloration are also be due to variou reasons. Your dentist can help you determine what your specific causes might be for any intrinsic discoloration you experience but generally this can be due to getting too much fluoride when you were a very young child. If you used any type of tetracycline antibiotics when you were a child, that could also be a cause for intrinsic staining. You could have also received some intrinsic stains later on in life if you experienced nerve or blood vessel damage to any teeth. There could also be a rare condition that contributes to any intrinsic discoloration that you have.
Most discoloration can be removed at home using a variety of remedies from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to products made for this purpose. You can try gently removing stains by brushing with a small amount of baking soda a few times a week. Be sure not to scrub the teeth as baking soda is abrasive and can harm the enamel. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a mouthwash to aid in lightening teeth. These are great, inexpensive and non-toxic methods for at-home whitening. You can also get plenty of whitening toothpaste products, strips or gels to help whiten teeth. If you do use these products as directed but still find your discolorations to be especially stubborn, speak to a dentist.
Your dentist can better determine which types of discoloration are affecting you most. Getting a dentists diagnoses can put you on the road to getting the most effective professional whitening treatment for your needs. He or she will work to correct any problems you may be having and get you on the road to a million dollar smile. When your dentist explains you have extrinsic or intrinsic stains, you can also impress him or her when you understand what these terms mean.