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Leading Causes of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration

In the last entry of our San Antonio Cosmetic Dentistry blog entitled, Why Teeth Don’t Stay White Forever On Their Own, we explored the topic of intrinsic and extrinsic stains and how a qualified dentist who does cosmetic dentistry, such as Dr. John Moore, can help brighten up a smile suffering from either or both of those issues.  Now it’s time to turn our attention to delving deeper into the causes behind said stains.

Age

If you’re a senior citizen, middle aged individual or even a teenager, you can probably recall a time in your life when your smile looked far brighter than it does now.  So it’s no secret that there is a strong correlation between age and tooth darkening.  This makes sense, because regular wear and tear and staining only increases as we age.  The younger a patient is, the more immediate the time frame is in which they will see dramatic results from teeth whitening.  That being said, impressive results can still be achieved with older men and women’s teeth over time when a dedicated San Antonio dentist administers proper teeth whitening procedures.

Translucency/Thinness

Everyone’s teeth show some signs of translucency, but those blessed with opaque and tick teeth hold the upper hand over the rest of the population.  This tooth type is lighter in color, shows more sparkle and is, quite honestly, more likely to respond to bleaching and teeth whitening.  Those teeth that are thinner and more transparent have less natural pigment in them and, therefore, cannot always be fixed by the whitening process.

Food consumption

Taking in red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges and other dark-colored beverages and foods leads to a heavy amount of staining in the long run.  In addition, acidic foods like citrus fruits and vinegar are guaranteed to drive enamel erosion.  This in turn causes the surface of your teeth to increase in transparency and the yellowish dentin below shows through.  There’s some food for thought.

Smoking/Drugs & Chemicals

As if you already didn’t have enough reasons not to smoke, know that doing so will cause brown buildup on your teeth and, ultimately, discoloration.  Aside from nicotine, the tetracycline found in bacterial drugs can cause dark brown/gray “ribbons” when used during teeth formation.  Finally, consuming large amounts of fluoride can lead to discoloration that is particularly troublesome to do away with.

Although these are not all of the factors that contribute to your need to visit a San Antonio dental office, they are some of the biggest contributors.  You don’t have to live with discolored teeth, though; contact us today to get started on the road to a whiter smile.

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