Whilst we regard a beautiful smile as two rows of pearly whites beaming cheerfully from someone who is happy, unfortunately not all smiles are as appealing. One of the main reasons why someone’s smile might not be all that pleasant to look at is tooth discolouration, which is one of the most common dental issues that any dentist from Dental O So Gentle have to treat.
Whenever we see someone with discoloured teeth, the assumption is often made that they are simply not caring for their teeth, and we assume that they are not brushing or flossing. Whilst that is a common cause, you should be aware that not all tooth discolouration is the fault of the person who suffers from it.
This leads us to the fact that there are several causes of tooth discolouration, and they can be split into two distinct categories. There are those causes that individuals can control and thus the discolouration could be said to be their own fault. The other set of causes are those which the person has no real control over, and instead of them being at fault for tooth discolouration, they are instead a victim of it.
To help you understand this more fully, here are the causes of tooth discolouration split into their respective categories of ‘Can Control’ and ‘Cannot Control.
Eating /Drinking: One of the primary causes of discolouration is the food and drink which a person eats. In particular, tea, coffee, sugary drinks and wine, pasta, potatoes, and certain fruits are the main culprits.
Excess Fluoridation: Excessive fluoridation of the teeth can cause them to decolour. This is most prevalent when we are children so it is the parents who have more control and should follow their dentist’s advice on safe fluoride levels for their children.
Smoking: As well as all the many health problems that smoking can cause, including oral cancer, tobacco is also the reason many of those who smoke have discoloured teeth.
Poor Oral Care: A prime cause of the vast majority of dental issues, a failure to follow even the most basic of daily dental care routines is almost certain to lead to tooth discolouration of some kind.
Illness/Disease: Illness and disease can strike without notice and the person suffering from them are at a higher risk of tooth discolouration than when they are healthy. Specific examples include metabolic diseases, celiac disease, and calcium deficiencies.
Medications: Many medications and treatments have side effects and one can be discolouration of the patient’s teeth. Antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antibiotics can cause it, as can chemotherapy.
Genetics: Much as we are sure you love them all, unfortunately, the family you are born into can be the cause of your discoloured teeth. It has been shown that someone’s teeth can discolour purely down to their genetics.
Aging: Unless you have discovered the elixir of eternal youth, you, and indeed everyone else, will age. As we enter our senior years our bodies change in many ways, and unfortunately one of them is our teeth discolouring due to the thinning and wearing of the enamel on our teeth.
Injuries/Trauma: Whilst some injuries can be regarded as self-inflicted, the vast majority are not. If the injury or trauma is severe enough it has been discovered that it can affect the dentin within the tooth leading to it becoming discoloured.