What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Do you have discolored or stained tooth enamel? Are one or more stained teeth impacting the look of your smile? We can provide seamless teeth whitening treatment for patients with staining, yellowing, or darkened tooth enamel. Whitening the smile can improve patients’ confidence and oral health. But why do teeth darken over time, and why do teeth stain? Learn more about the common causes of discolored teeth and how we treat tooth discoloration in our Arlington Heights, IL, dental office.

tooth discoloration in Arlington Heights, IL

What Are Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration?

The most common reasons why you may have discolored teeth include the following:

  • Foods and Drinks: There are certain foods and drinks that contain chromogens, compounds that stain teeth. Berries, tea, coffee, wine, tomatoes, and other foods and drinks attach to the tooth enamel and stain the teeth.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: We recommend brushing and flossing twice a day to help prevent tooth staining. Fluoride toothpaste can help mineralize and strengthen teeth and brighten a smile. Flossing between teeth removes food debris, and brushing can remove chromogens that stain enamel.
  • Tobacco: Cigarettes, vapes, and other products that contain tobacco can also yellow or stain teeth. The nicotine contained in tobacco turns teeth yellow when combined with oxygen. Over time, nicotine can turn teeth brown.
  • Medications: Sometimes, tooth discoloration is a side effect of medications. Antihistamines, antipsychotics, and antihypertensive medications can darken the teeth.
  • Dental Injuries: Broken, chipped, and fractured teeth can discolor. Teeth can turn grey due to dental trauma because the tooth does not have sufficient blood flow. Dental wear can also cause discoloration as dentin, the dark layer beneath the enamel, shows through.

Treating Tooth Discoloration in Arlington Heights

Our dental office provides Zoom teeth whitening treatment to brighten teeth. In-office teeth whitening treatment uses active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide that lift stains from the enamel. Take-home Zoom whitening treatment can help patients keep their in-office whitening results. This treatment also benefits patients who want the convenience of custom treatment in the comfort of their own homes. Take-home whitening uses custom trays and whitening gel to whiten teeth over time.

Patients with extrinsic stains benefit from teeth whitening treatment. Extrinsic tooth stains affect the outer layer of the tooth, also known as the enamel. If patients have intrinsic stains, tooth stains are beneath the enamel. Typically, intrinsic stains do not react to whitening treatment. Instead, patients with intrinsic stains will require veneers or bonding treatment to cover discolored teeth. A dental bonding treatment can address one or several discolored teeth, while we recommend veneers if all of the teeth in the smile line are discolored.

Do you want a brighter natural smile? Call AH Smiles today at (847) 230-9703. You can also request your next dental appointment with Dr. Brent Engelberg online.