Our Saint Louis Dentist Explains Why Teeth Can Start To Look Dark And Dull

Written by Dr. Grayem on Jan 21, 2020

Dental discoloration can make your smile look older, weaker, and dirtier than it really is. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to minimize aesthetic changes to your smile. Our Saint Louis dentists have put together this short article outlining common causes of staining and discoloration. We hope that after reading this you feel more empowered to safeguard your smile.

Now, keep in mind that our smiles are naturally different shades of white. The goal of topical whitening treatment is to restore your smile to its natural level of whiteness, while dental bonding and porcelain veneers cover enamel, and can thus be crafted to suit your desired shade.

You may notice that your smile is looking stained or dull due to:

  • Environmental stains: foods, drinks, and especially tobacco products will leave color deposits on your natural tooth surface over time. Basically, if a food or drink is dark or richly colored, it may be staining. Acidic substances are even more likely to stain, because they temporarily weaken enamel upon contact.
  • Thin dental enamel: the shade of your smile is very much linked to the health of your dental enamel, the outermost layer of your tooth. Under your enamel is a tooth layer called dentin, which is darker and yellower in color. As your enamel becomes thinner the dentin will show through and change the shade of your smile.
  • Tooth damage: if you notice a sudden darkening of a tooth or spots of discoloration, this could be due to dental trauma or infection. In these cases, you should reach out to your dental team for an assessment, as prompt treatment may be necessary.

As you can see, the shade of your smile is closely connected to the overall health of your smile. Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists are here to help you make the right decisions for your dental health, so give us a call to learn more!