Discolored teeth are usually a recipe for insecurity and issues with self-esteem. You want to hide your smile when you should want to show it off. But what causes discolored teeth? And how can it be fixed? Dr. Brent Engelberg of AH Smiles, a dentist in Arlington Heights, IL, offers some answers.
Why Are My Teeth Discolored?
Tooth discoloration can happen for a variety of reasons. For starters, just age can change the color of your teeth. The translucency is reduced and your teeth appear darker and yellower, showing more of the dentin instead of enamel. Genetics and certain medical conditions can also change the color of your teeth.
What you consume also impacts the tooth color. If you’re frequently drinking dark beverages such as cola, coffee, or tea, these can stain your teeth a brownish color. Smoking and other tobacco use can stain your teeth yellow. Lastly, certain medications, like tetracycline, can cause discoloration as well.
How Can I Fix My Discolored Teeth?
Most commonly, we’ll recommend teeth whitening treatment. This is used primarily for stains that occur from things you eat and drink, as well as the natural discoloration that comes with age. AH Smiles offers tooth whitening treatment in-office as well as take-home kits for your convenience.
With in-office tooth whitening, we start with a dental cleaning. Then, we make sure your lips and gums aren’t going to be affected by the whitening gel. The gel is then applied to your teeth. The active ingredient is pH balanced hydrogen peroxide that’s activated by the special light that we’ll put on it. After the lighting process is done, a fluoride process completes it. You’ll get teeth that are at least six to ten shades whiter!
For at-home treatment, we offer multiple brands. This is a more gradual whitening compared to the in-office treatment, but it’s nice that it can be done in the comfort of your own home. All brands feature whitening trays that are customized to your teeth so the gums aren’t impacted. A whitening gel is put in the trays. We have options for overnight whitening, one during the day, and another brand offers a variety based on your tooth sensitivity and time of day preference.
In cases of medical conditions and medicine staining, whitening treatments may not do the trick. There are other options that can both help these cases and provide more permanent results than the tooth whitening treatments. For starts, cosmetic dental bonding uses a resin that’s painted over your teeth. This can be customized to whatever shade you want. The tooth can be resurfaced and evened out with dental bonding.
We also offer porcelain veneers. These are thin shells of dental ceramic that cover the outside and sides of your teeth. A full smile can be covered with these in a shade that’s customized to your liking. For a single discolored tooth, a dental crown covers the entire tooth like a cap and can be matched with the rest of your smile.
Your Dentist in Arlington Heights, Illinois
No matter the cause of your tooth discoloration, we can make sure we get it taken care of. Call us or schedule an appointment online!