When you look around the pharmacy, or flip through commercials on TV, you’ll see all kinds of products promising to whiten and brighten your smile. But before you jump into the world of teeth whitening products, our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists encourage you to get the facts on dental discoloration. Once you understand how dental discoloration occurs, you’ll be able to handpick an aesthetic solution that works for you. Keep reading to get more information.
Most people, when they think about dental discoloration, think about environmental stains; these are yellow or brown stains that appear on your teeth due to foods, drinks, and tobacco products. Generally, environmental staining develops gradually over time; the more you expose your smile to discoloring substances, the more likely you are to see staining as a result. Coffee, tea, cola, red wine, red sauces, berries, chocolate, and more can all cause dental discoloration.
Many dental patients are able to minimize environmental staining using topical whitening treatments. The most effective dental whitening treatments are the professional-grade formulations provided by your dentist. These formulations can deliver dramatic results in a short period of time.
Another type of dental discoloration is caused be thinning enamel. When your dental enamel, which is white and luminous, begins to wear away, it allows more of the dentin—the tooth layer below enamel—to show through the surface of your smile. Because dentin is dark and yellow, this can make your teeth start to look discolored.
This type of dental discoloration may be improved by professional whitening treatment, or you may have better luck with a treatment that resurfaces the visible parts of your tooth. You can cover thinning enamel, for example, with dental resin (this is called bonding) or cosmetic restorations like dental veneers.
Occasionally dental patients develop dark or dull teeth due to traumatic dental injury. In cases like these, the root of the patient’s tooth has been damaged or destroyed. Your dentist may recommend that you undergo restorative treatment before improving the appearance of your smile with bonding or a restoration.
Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists are here to answer your questions regarding dental whitening. With all that modern dentistry has to offer, there is truly no reason to continue to live with a smile that you don’t love!