Dark teeth can have a negative impact on your life. You may avoid speaking to others or always smile with your mouth closed for photos. If you find yourself going out of your way to hide your teeth then it’s time to make some changes.
What effects can dark teeth have on your life?
An unattractive smile can take quite a toll on your self esteem. You may notice your dating and social life are beginning to suffer. Dark teeth can cause all sorts of confidence and insecurity issues.
What can cause teeth discoloration?
There are numerous culprits that can be responsible for yellowed teeth. Prior dental injuries can permanently affect the teeth and leave them susceptible.
Tobacco can stain teeth. Regardless if you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco either these products can leave teeth looking dark and in poor condition. They also affect your oral health in general.
Food and drinks
Food and drinks, such as coffee, red wine, and tomato soup can cause stains and be absorbed by tooth enamel. Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking dark beverages can reduce the amount of staining. Rinsing can also stimulate saliva which can help rid your mouth of food and beverages.
Cavities can also be responsible for tooth discoloration. This happens when the damage has occurred on the inside of the tooth and begins to spread. You may also be experiencing some pain in this area. It is always wise to seek medical advice when you encounter this issue.
Your dentist may also take an X-ray to see if there is more going on than is visible to the naked eye.
Dental trauma can cause teeth to get dark
Sudden trauma can also cause teeth to turn black. This is especially common in children and oftentimes the color does return to normal, or close to normal. When a baby tooth experiences trauma the blood flow can be affected.
Similar to any other injury, the tooth needs time to heal. You should know in a few weeks time whether or not the tooth will lighten in color.
If the trauma happens to a permanent tooth and the tooth turns black you may need to seek other options. Teeth caps or crowns can be used or if multiple teeth are affected you may want to consider porcelain veneers.
Ingestion of fluoride in large amounts can also cause the outer layer of enamel to become dark or discolored. Unfortunately, this happens mostly when children swallow excess amounts of toothpaste instead of spitting it out. The damage isn’t obvious until the baby teeth fall out and the permanent teeth begin to emerge.
Antibiotic use while the adult teeth are developing can discolor teeth. These teeth stains are buried deep in the dentin layers and rarely fully bleach. Home remedies or drug store products will not produce white teeth. Stains like this need to be covered with cosmetic dentistry.
Poor dental hygiene
Inadequate brushing and flossing can take quite a toll on your teeth. Routine checkups and cleanings are necessary to remove plaque and prevent teeth decay. The dentist also uses this time to examine and assess the condition of your teeth and gums. If the plaque sits on the teeth it builds into tartar which is very difficult to remove.
It is recommended that you see your dentist for cleanings at least two times per year.
What are some ways to correct dark teeth?
There are many ways to correct or cover dark teeth. The first step is to identify what has caused the tooth to darken. A dental professional will be able to conduct an exam and ask questions to try to identify the root cause. Once that has been determined an appropriate course of action can begin.
If teeth are dark due to stains from food and beverages then teeth whitening is an excellent option for treatment. This treatment can be used multiple times if necessary. So if you notice your teeth are beginning to yellow after a few months simply reach for your whitening kit. Caution must be used however because you can bleach too much. Consult your dentist for the safe way to whiten teeth.
Teeth whitening kits are available over the counter or you can also receive in-home whitening solutions that are more concentrated from your dentist. Some teeth whitening products include whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, gels, and trays. While these products will make your teeth whiter and brighter they won’t be a long term solution if you continue to consume food and drinks that cause staining.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Teeth can sometimes turn yellow due to underlying issues such as cavities or old leaking silver. A dentist will have to remove the portion of the tooth that has the cavity and then the area must be filled in. Some dentists routinely replace metal fillings. A white filling material works very well to hide the affected area. Tooth colored fillings are so discreet and natural looking it will be nearly impossible for anyone to notice that you have one.
Covering dark teeth with dental crowns
Dental crowns act as tooth “caps” and can be used to replace teeth that don’t respond well to other whitening options.
A crown can replace a stained or discolored tooth. The crown is custom made to blend in with your natural teeth.
If many teeth are affected by stains or discoloration then Dr. Fondriest may suggest porcelain veneers. Veneers completely cover the fronts of teeth and revitalize your smile. It’s important to note that traditional whitening methods do not work on veneers due to the material they are made out of. However, veneers can be whitened prior to having them installed in your mouth.
Learn more about covering dark teeth?
If you’d like to learn more about your whitening options then please contact our office at (847) 234-0517. Dr. Fondriest will assess your teeth and provide dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We look forward to meeting you and helping you obtain a radiant great smile.