By this point in the 21st century, the treatment of tooth discoloration has evolved into an annual multibillion-dollar, highly sophisticated, scientific, and clinical discipline. However, the origins of the treatment date back thousands of years to ancient clinicians and beauticians who used rudimentary, yet innovative, natural materials to mask undesirable tooth discolorations.
There are several reasons why teeth may darken. These include.
Foods/drinks. Coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables (for example, apples and potatoes) can stain your teeth.
Tobacco use. Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.
Poor dental hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing to remove plaque and stain-producing substances like coffee and tobacco can cause tooth discoloration.
Disease. Several diseases that affect enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the underlying material under enamel) can lead to tooth discoloration. In addition, treatments for certain conditions can also affect tooth color. For example, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration. In addition, certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause tooth discoloration in the infant by affecting enamel development.
Medications. The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before the age of 8). Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain your teeth. Antihistamines (like Benadryl), antipsychotic drugs, and antihypertensive medications can also cause teeth discoloration.
Dental materials. Some of the materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam restorations , especially silver sulfide-containing materials, can cast a gray-black color to your teeth.
Treatments for tooth discoloration will vary according to the causes and may include:
In-Office Dental Whitening
For this method of eliminating tooth discoloration, your dentist will start by examining your teeth and informing you about the different ways you can obtain whiter teeth, how the treatments work and what to expect from the recommended treatments.
For extrinsic tooth discoloration caused by foods and drinks, these stains can be easily removed by applying a bleaching peroxide gel to the enamel of the teeth to help whiten them. The process will usually take an hour and a laser may or may not be use to help speed up the whitening process.
For teeth that are discolored by excessive fluoride, root canal endodontic treatment, consumption of tetracycline or other drugs, the standard bleaching of the enamel will not be very effective. Instead dental veneers or bonding are use to restore the teeth back to sparkling white. You will need to discuss the best choice of treatment with your dentist.
At Home Bleaching
Home whitening is usually done with teeth whitening kits, gels or strips. This method is more suitable for extrinsic tooth discoloration and will require some work and time on your part.
Typically, a custom-fit or standard mouth tray and a whitening gel are used. You will then proceed to apply the gel into the mouth trays and wear them each night for the recommended amount of time. You may need to use it several times over the course of 1 to 3 weeks to achieve maximum results.
The main advantages for using home whitening kits are that they are a lot less expensive than in-office dental teeth whitening.
You can find more dental supplies and dental equipment at ishinerdental.com.