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How Dark Teeth Affect Your Appearance

Are your teeth stained or discolored? If so, you may look older than you really are. Other people might also assume that you have poor oral hygiene or don’t care much about your appearance. By whitening your teeth and avoiding future stains, you can make sure you give off the right impression!

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Enamel and dentin are the two parts of your teeth that affect their appearance. Enamel—the thin, hard outer covering of your teeth—protects the dentin beneath it. Healthy enamel is a translucent white, allowing the color of the dentin to show through. Stained enamel and darkened dentin can cause teeth to lose their pearly white glow. Here are some examples of why teeth discolor:

  • Genetics: Every person has a different level of natural tooth whiteness. This largely comes down to genetics, but other factors also affect the color of your teeth.
  • Age: Young teeth generally appear whiter and more luminous. Then, as enamel ages, it begins to take on a dull, grey appearance. It’s important to remember that teeth naturally darken with age, even if you maintain a good oral care routine.
  • Food and drinks: Acidic, dark, or brightly colored food and beverages can discolor your teeth. Examples include tomato sauce, berries, soda, coffee, and wine. Food stains can make your teeth look dirty and uncared for, no matter how diligently you brush and floss.
  • Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco cause some of the worst tooth stains. First, they turn your teeth yellow. And if you don’t drop the habit, your teeth could eventually develop brown, grimy streaks.
  • Injury or disease: If you get hit in the mouth while playing sports, the blood flow to an injured tooth could be disrupted, causing it to darken. Some diseases and medications can also make dentin appear yellower.

Treating Stained Teeth

Professional teeth whitening is a popular way to remove stains and transform your smile. You could be a good candidate if food and drinks, smoking, and age have discolored your teeth. It’s possible to lighten your teeth by several shades in a single sitting, leaving you with a younger, healthier-looking smile.

If your dentin is discolored, whitening products may not penetrate deep enough to provide the desired results. Fortunately, other cosmetic dentistry options are available, including crowns and veneers, which can hide discolored teeth and brighten your smile for years to come.

Once your teeth are white and beautiful, prevent future staining with these tips:

  • Brush twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Get your teeth cleaned regularly.
  • Swish your mouth with water after consuming staining foods and drinks.

Ready for those pearly whites you’ve always wanted? Come to West County Dental for help transforming your smile! Dr. Spalitto offers a range of restorative and cosmetic procedures to create the smile of your dreams. Call us at (314) 488-2921 or contact us online to reserve your appointment today.