A beautifully white smile is something many patients desire, but white teeth can be difficult to maintain. It is for this reason that at Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we want our patients to understand the science behind teeth turning yellow. Knowing how it happens can help you avoid the discoloration of your smile.
There are typically two different kinds of discoloration that can happen to teeth; intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic stains usually occur from the foods and drinks a patient consumes. Foods like blueberries, cranberries, and soy sauce can darken teeth, as well as drinks like wine, cola, and coffee. In addition, tobacco habits like smoking cigarettes and using chewing tobacco can also stain teeth over time.
Intrinsic stains occur below the enamel’s surface, in the dentin. Examples of causes include medications like tetracycline, chlorhexidine, and minocycline. These medications can turn the teeth a brownish or yellow color from the inside out. Thin or worn-down enamel may cause the discolored dentin to show through even more. This is one reason why it is important to preserve your enamel. Additionally, popular “homemade” whitening solutions like baking soda can be very abrasive if used incorrectly, which may lead to thinned enamel.
If you are unhappy with the shade of your smile, be sure to keep a fantastic oral hygiene routine and avoid stain-causing habits. To schedule a cleaning or whitening consultation with Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, contact our office by calling (816) 532-8778 or by visiting our website, www.garrisondentistry.com.