No matter how well a person takes care of their teeth the discoloring stained teeth are very common especially as you age. The youthful glow and sparkle of young teeth will in time lose its white sheen as the enamel starts developing tiny cracks that will eventually lose the crystalline rods in the tooth. The thinning enamel makes the teeth more transparent and the tooth starts showing through the yellowish color of the dentin and causing the looking of stained teeth. Even without the natural aging of teeth, eating habits, food choices, medication, lifestyles, health conditions, and many other factors help increase the tiny cracks in the enamel allowing debris to accumulate between the spaces staining the teeth.
Types of Stained Teeth
There are two types of that develop on your teeth causing stains and discoloration, extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining.
Extrinsic stains are developed on the surface of the teeth caused by the accumulation of food debris and color. While superficial stains and discoloration could be removed by prophylactic cleaning and brushing, there are stains that are a little more stubborn and could accumulate between the spaces of the tiny cracks in the tooth that would need bleaching to remove the stains. When the stains are not effectively removed and stays on the teeth for a period of time, this could penetrate deeper into the dentin which could require more involved methods of whitening the teeth.
Those stains that form beneath the enamel are intrinsic stains. Previously, intrinsic stains are believed to be resistant to treatments although today most of it could be removed with close supervision from qualified professionals. Intrinsic stains are caused by the natural process of aging, trauma to the tooth, exposure to drugs containing tetracycline and fluorosis.
What Causes Stained Teeth
Another factor that helps create staining of the teeth is grinding of the teeth. Grinding often attributed to stress accelerates microcracking of the tooth enamel that will hold tiny debris to be accumulated. It also causes the edges of the tooth to shade darker at a faster rate. Another big factor in the darkening of teeth is smoking. Nicotine is brownish in color and sticks to the enamel of the tooth soaking into the teeth causing internal discoloration. Red wine may be good for the heart but it contains a high concentration of tannins that cause staining fast.
DNA is also a big factor in how white your teeth will remain. All teeth are translucent to some degree. However, there are some people due to their genetic makeup that are born with teeth that are more translucent than most. Teeth that are more translucent tend to show more staining than those with more opaque teeth.
Teeth transparency is the only known teeth condition today that could not benefit from teeth whitening and teeth bleaching. On the other hand, no amount of teeth bleaching will whiten teeth more than its natural color. In some cases, it could artificially be done but we do not recommend doing that.
No matter how teeth whitening and bleaching is done, anything involving cosmetic enhancements and restoration is subjective that varies from person to person. There are a lot of good teeth whitening options available at home or at the dentist’s office. We recommend the AP-24 anti-plaque fluoride toothpaste as a gentle option that helps loosen and remove debris and plaque while whitening your teeth.