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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Potomac
2010 Opitz Boulevard, # D, Woodbridge, VA 22191

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Reasons and Remedies for Tooth Discoloration

Dull, discolored or yellowing teeth can be a source of embarrassment for you in all types of social and professional situations. The good news is that you can often fixed discolored teeth! Most dentists and dental professionals have the experience and the proven expertise necessary to provide you with practical options for correcting yellowed or stained teeth. Whiter, brighter teeth can help you feel more confident. But, when you understand why teeth become discolored or stained, you can make the most informed and practical choices when selecting the right solutions for your teeth and your ongoing dental health.

What Causes Dental Discoloration?

A few factors can play an important role in causing discoloration of your teeth:

  • The foods you eat are often responsible for stains or yellowing. Most often there are chemicals in food that react with your teeth, causing staining and discoloration. These types of stains can sometimes be avoided by brushing and flossing thoroughly after drinking dark-colored beverages or eating certain foods.
  • Tobacco use has also been implicated in causing dark or yellow stains on tooth enamel. Stopping smoking now is a good way to reduce the impact of this bad habit on your teeth.
  • Some medications are also known to cause darkening and discoloration of teeth.
  • Plaque, bacteria and tooth decay can cause dark patches on teeth that can have a negative impact on the appearance of your smile.
  • Injuries to your teeth or gums can sometimes lead to discoloration of specific areas of your teeth. If you teeth appear grey, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

There is usually a way to fix discoloration, yellowing or dullness of your teeth, but you may need to consult with a dentist first to find the right solution the first time around.

Do the Foods You Eat Matter?

The foods and drinks you consume can have positive or negative effects on your teeth. Some of the most common culprits for stained or unattractive teeth include the following activities:

  • Drinking coffee or tea
  • Drinking red wine
  • Eating sugary snacks
  • Consuming too many starchy foods
  • Failing to brush promptly after every meal or snack

A local dentist will typically work with you to pinpoint the causes of your tooth discoloration and to provide you with practical support in addressing these issues promptly and effectively. This can help you to manage all your daily activities with greater confidence and pride in the appearance of your white and bright teeth.

Choosing Foods and Beverages to Fight Stains

Some dietary choices can have a real and positive effect on your dental health. Most people are aware of the importance of calcium in building strong bones and healthier teeth. Foods containing plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, like fish or flaxseed oil, are also helpful in reducing inflammation throughout your body and especially in your gums and the soft tissues of your mouth. Cocoa can also provide some protection against inflammation, which has been linked to the development of gum disease in vulnerable individuals. Finally, choosing water or sugar-free beverages is a good way to rinse away bacteria that can cause plaque and to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

The Damaging Effects of Tobacco Use

Smoking is one of the unhealthiest habits for your teeth, your breath and your overall physical condition. Stopping smoking as soon as possible can sometimes allow you to reverse the negative effects of tobacco use and can reduce your risk of developing gum disease and other serious dental issues. Chewing tobacco and snuff also pose serious risks to the health of your mouth and should be stopped as soon as possible to promote healthier teeth and a more attractive smile.

Managing Stains and Discoloration From Smoking

If you are already experiencing brown or yellow stains on your teeth from the use of tobacco, dental and medical professionals across the board will tell you that the best thing you can do is quit. Along with stopping smoking, you may also benefit from regular brushing and flossing after each smoke break. There are other options available that can reverse some of the effects of tobacco on your teeth and can promote the best outcomes for you, beyond quitting. Consider working with a dentist to find solutions that work for you, it doesn’t always have to be an extreme step, but when you have professional support that often helps to achieve results faster.

How to Prevent Tooth Discoloration

Along with not smoking, you can also take a few basic steps that will reduce the chance of discoloration for your teeth:

  • Brushing and flossing at least twice daily will go a long way toward preventing tooth decay and the discoloration it can cause.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after consuming coffee, tea or dark-colored wine.
  • Make regular appointments with our team to ensure the best possible care for your teeth. This will help you to manage issues with tooth decay that could otherwise affect the appearance of your smile.
  • Schedule teeth cleaning services twice a year to remove plaque and tartar and to enhance the beauty of your smile.

You Can Achieve a Brighter Smile

There are a variety of ways to whiten your teeth, some more effective than others. Over-the-counter whitening kits can sometimes produce noticeable results for patients. In most cases, however, it is recommended that you use professional whitening kits at home or invest in tooth whitening treatments at a dental office. Tooth whitening toothpastes and other over-the-counter recommended products are not as strong as in-office bleaching and may cause sensitivity in the teeth or gums.

In-office treatment plans can provide you with the most dramatic improvement in your appearance and the best solutions for your teeth and your budget. For severely discolored teeth, you may need to consider crowns and veneers to cover any imperfections in your teeth. When you are looking for a first-rate solution to discolored teeth, consider contacting a dentist for in-office treatment.

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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Potomac

2010 Opitz Boulevard, # D, Woodbridge, VA 22191

(703) 595-2887