Stains – we all get them. On our favorite t-shirts, freshly purchased rugs, and even on our teeth. You probably know that the things you eat and drink – wine, berries, coffee – can stain your teeth, just like they can stain your rug, but there are some other factors at play. We’ll examine the causes of tooth stains and reveal the secret to how Palm Beach Dentist, Dr. Jay Ajmo, can help you reclaim your smile’s bright, white glory.
There are two kinds of tooth stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic stains occur when teeth are formed in the body and may include fluorosis stains (white spots) or darkened teeth caused by tetracycline medication. We pick up extrinsic stains, or stains that accumulate on the tooth enamel, naturally as we age.
Some common causes of extrinsic stains include:
Chromogenic foods & beverages – “chromogenic” simply means “producing color.” Most people are familiar with chromogenic beverages like coffee, wine, and soda. Other tooth-staining foods and liquids include spinach, berries, beets, red sauces, tea, fruit drinks, soy sauce, curry, and anything darkly pigmented.
Acidic foods & beverages – Energy drinks, Vitamin Water, vinegar, and citrus drinks like lemonade can wreak havoc on your teeth, not just attracting stains, but also weakening the enamel and creating a cavity-prone environment. Avoid these drinks as much as possible, or at the very least, rinse with water after consuming.
Tobacco – The leading cause of tooth stains, tobacco leaves behind brownish deposits and residue that’s quickly absorbed by the tooth structure. These types of stains are especially hard to remove, since they accumulate in the pits and gaps between and around teeth.
Poor Oral Hygiene – When teeth aren’t brushed or flossed regularly, they can turn shades of greenish-brown. It starts around the gum line, where tartar flourishes, and gradually spreads to the rest of the tooth. These stains can become permanent if professional care is avoided.
Teeth Grinding – A common reaction to stress, teeth grinding can cause micro fractures in the tooth enamel. Stains love to hide in these fissures and eventually create darkened edges along the biting surfaces.
Tooth Trauma – When a tooth is bumped or cracked, the nerve can die. A necrotic (dead) tooth will appear black, brown, or gray in color and may not respond well to traditional teeth whitening methods.
Aging – The dentin is the soft, sponge-like layer below the tooth enamel. As we age, the dentin naturally yellows. Wear, tear, and stain accumulation also contributes to age-related tooth stains.
While it may seem like you’re barraged with teeth-staining factors every single day, there is good news. Teeth stains can safely and effectively be removed*. At Dr. Ajmo’s Palm Beach dental office, he uses leading teeth whitening methods to lighten teeth 10 shades or more. After professional teeth whitening, your smile will glow 10 shades (or more!) brighter.
*Note: Everyone should be evaluated by a dentist before beginning a teeth whitening program. Patients with tooth decay or other issues will need to have these issues resolved to prevent damaging or irritating the teeth and gums.
Call our Palm Beach dental office today to schedule your teeth whitening appointment today! Dr. Ajmo is a leading cosmetic dentist in the South Florida area who has helped patients achieve their smile dreams for over 20 years.