Top 4 Things That May Explain Your Discolored Teeth

Does your smile appear dull, dingy, and discolored? You’re not alone. In fact, Americans spend over a billion dollars on smile whitening products every year because they’re unhappy with the color of their teeth. But what if we could better understand what’s causing the discoloration in the first place and, perhaps, prevent it? You’re in luck. Your dentist in Lawrenceville is here to share the top four things that often cause tooth discoloration and what you can do about them.  

  • Tobacco

One of the best ways to almost guarantee tooth discoloration is by using tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. Tobacco products contain ingredients such as tar and nicotine that are known to cause staining, so when tobacco is constantly introduced to the mouth, it’s incredibly common to notice yellowing of the teeth. It’s also common for tobacco users to notice brown spots thanks to the natural brown color of the tobacco itself. The best way to prevent tooth discoloration from tobacco is to avoid it altogether, but your dentist in Lawrenceville can also help reverse discoloration through a variety of smile whitening or cosmetic dentistry treatments. 

  • Foods & Drinks

Another common explanation behind tooth discoloration is found in our diets and in the foods and drinks we consume. Beverages such as a daily morning cup of coffee or tea, a nightcap of red wine, and soda can all cause teeth to appear brown or discolored. When it comes to foods that can cause tooth discoloration, think of foods that would stain a white shirt — berries, pasta sauce, and beets are all good examples. Additionally, foods and drinks that are highly acidic are known to attack tooth enamel and can cause teeth to appear dull, gray, or yellow. Alternatively, consuming too many sugary treats tends to cause tooth decay which can present itself as dark or brown patches. To decrease your chances of tooth discoloration from foods and drinks, enjoy tooth-staining treats in moderation. 

  • Tooth Trauma

A car accident, a fall, or a sporting accident can all result in tooth trauma. You’ll probably find it easier to identify this as a cause of tooth discoloration as you’ll be able to link the discoloration to a mouth injury, whereas the other causes occur over time, often without you even realizing it. Tooth trauma usually causes teeth to appear darkened or gray, and this can occur in one or even multiple teeth. The darkening is due to an injury inside the tooth and will require intervention from your dentist in Lawrenceville

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

Another incredibly common explanation for tooth discoloration is poor oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day helps remove plaque and bacteria buildup and also helps protect teeth against decay. If you don’t remove this buildup regularly and effectively with a proper oral hygiene routine, you may start to notice your teeth take on a yellowish or gray appearance – or you may even start to see orange or green spots on your teeth. To protect your smile, make sure you’re brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing once a day. 

Of course, it’s also important to see your dentist in Lawrenceville every six months for a professional dental cleaning. At these appointments, your dental hygienist will remove even more buildup from your teeth that your at-home brushings can’t remove. This further helps keep your pearly whites white and fight off decay.

When it comes to your oral health, it’s no surprise that your dentist in Lawrenceville puts so much importance on taking proper care of your teeth. But did you know that your gums are another crucial aspect to overall oral health? In fact, our gums are just as important to take care of as our teeth. They help hold our teeth steady and firmly in our mouths, protecting the roots and helping teeth last a lifetime. However, it’s not uncommon to experience something called gum recession. 

What is Gum Recession? 
Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue begins to pull away from teeth, leaving tooth roots exposed and increasing the risk for tooth loss, increased sensitivity, and decay. What’s even worse is that once gums recede, you can’t grow it back. However, your dentist in Lawrenceville may be able to help with a variety of gum recession treatments. It’s best to talk with your dentist to find out the best way to fix receding gums. 

Gum Recession Treatment
Effect treatment of receding gums depends on the root cause and overall oral health. Some of the most common treatment options are: 

  • Scaling & Root Planing: This type of gum recession treatment is usually the first one suggested by dentists. It’s similar to a dental cleaning, but instead of focusing on the surfaces of teeth only, your dental team will clean up under the gum line to remove plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth. This procedure is usually done with a numbing anesthetic for increased comfort. 
  • Antibiotics: Following a scaling root planing, which also helps smooth out roots to make it difficult for bacteria to cling to them, your dentist may also choose to use a temporary antibiotic to kill off any bacteria that may still be lingering around. 
  • Surgical Techniques: Advancements in dental technology have included several updated surgical techniques to help combat gum recession. To find out if gum recession surgery is right for you, and to determine which one would be most effective, schedule a visit with your dentist in Lawrenceville

What Causes Receding Gums? 
There’s not one singular underlying cause behind gum recession. Each individual is different, and your cause may be different than someone else’s. Some of the causes of gum recession are:

Preventing Gum Recession
Gum recession is an incredibly common dental concern that we encounter every day. While it may seem like a minor thing, receding gums can lead to some serious complications and even become pretty painful if left untreated. There are ways you can help prevent your gums from receding such as:

  • Brushing properly using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move it around in small, gentle circles on each surface of each tooth. 
  • Practicing a good oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing every day. 
  • Seeing your dentist in Lawrenceville at least every six months

If you notice any of the common signs of gum recession, including swollen, red gums, chronic bad breath, pain along the gum line, exposed tooth roots and the accompanying sensitivity, or visibility shrinking gums, schedule a dental appointment today.

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