Discolored Teeth: What Does That Mean?

Posted by Dr. Soto Jan 04, 2019

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Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Discolored teeth can be a huge confidence-buster and leave a bad impression.

If your teeth are discolored, it means there is something affecting the natural color of your teeth that should be addressed. It may be the result of disease, an unhealthy diet, poor dental hygiene, or something else. Identifying the cause of your tooth discoloration is the first step in taking control to prevent further discoloration.

Let’s take a look at different types of tooth discoloration and what the most common causes are.

Types of Tooth Discoloration

There are two main types of teeth discoloration:

  • Extrinsic tooth discoloration means the outer layer of the tooth (also called enamel) is stained.
  • Intrinsic tooth discoloration means the inner side of the teeth (behind the enamel) is discolored.

Causes of Tooth Discoloration

There are many reasons that teeth change color. Here are some of the most common reasons:

Poor Dental Hygiene – Poor general hygiene is a very common cause of tooth discoloration that can easily be prevented. Poor dental hygiene means you are not cleaning your teeth adequately, which can result in plaque buildup and overexposure to certain foods or drinks that can stain your teeth.

Aging – As we age, it’s natural for some tooth discoloration to occur due to wear and tear. However, this doesn’t mean tooth discoloration is completely inevitable. Taking steps early on to prevent tooth discoloration can help in the long run.

Environmental Factors – The water in certain cities, counties, and states have a higher fluoride content than water in other places. Also, some people use excessive amounts of products with added fluoride such as mouthwash. Too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration.

Food Intake – There are a variety of foods and drinks that can cause teeth discoloration. If you consume these foods on a regular basis, there is a chance it may be the reason for your tooth discoloration:

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Red wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes
  • Dark fruit juices

Tobacco – Smoking or chewing tobacco is a big reason for teeth discoloration. The nicotine and tar content in tobacco cause teeth to become yellow over time.

Disease – There are some diseases that can affect the health of tooth enamel and cause teeth to discolor.

Medications – Some medications can also cause tooth discoloration, including radiation or chemotherapy.

If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to prevent tooth discoloration or want to get dental work done by a dentist who is not only highly qualified but also concerned about your comfort during your visits, consider seeing Dr. Ernie Soto.

Dr. Soto is one of only a handful of dentists in Florida who are licensed to provide services like IV sedation to ensure you remain relaxed during your dental procedures. Call (954) 368-6264 today to learn more and schedule an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.

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