When you imagine a healthy smile, a bright set of perfect, uniform teeth probably come to mind. We seem to be programmed to think that nice looking teeth must also be the picture of oral health. However, there are a few key factors that determine the color of our teeth, which are actually at work beneath the surface of the tooth.
The thinner a person’s enamel, the more visible the dentin is underneath their enamel, resulting in a more yellow tooth color. A couple of common reasons for having thin enamel include someone’s genes, as well as the erosion of our enamel as we age. Because enamel is porous, the things we consume also find ways to infiltrate our enamel. Eating, drinking, and smoking all take their toll. For instance, nicotine turns yellow when mixed with oxygen, often causing tooth discoloration. Foods and beverages with potent coloring can also stain teeth, but you should be especially wary of acids, which often wear on enamel. A combination of coloring and acids, such as in red wine or coffee, can make a huge impact on the color of your teeth over time.
So, what are the ugly problems that pretty white teeth can't hide? They could be anything from a few stray cavities to a full-blown infection of the gums. By the same token, some folks are simply predisposed to having teeth with a more yellow or even brownish tone, yet their smiles are perfectly healthy.
Of course, there are going to be exceptions, and any discoloration should still be examined by your dentist at your six-month preventative hygiene visit. Underlying diseases or tobacco use can cause staining, tooth loss, and damage to other parts of your body. It’s important to have your dentist assess any damage to your enamel to prevent harmful bacteria from getting into the delicate inner tooth.
If your teeth are healthy but not quite up to your standards of brightness, there are plenty of options to choose from, such as custom professional whitening trays and deep bleaching treatments. Just keep in mind that whitening doesn’t replace a good oral hygiene regimen or the high-quality dental care. Click here to learn more about our whitening options.
Napoleon, OH 43545
101 Adrian St.
Delta, OH 43515
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