Teeth lose their pearly whiteness in many ways.
Our teeth get stained by everything from coffee and tea to red wine and chocolate. For example, cavities create brown or black spots. In addition, some medications can cause browning, and worn down teeth turn yellow. Click below to learn more about each type of tooth discoloration.
Discolored teeth are Stained Teeth
White Teeth Are Like White Shirts – They Attract Stains!
Our teeth absorb stains daily from drinks like coffee, sodas, tea & wine as well as from colored foods like chocolate, chicken mole and chili. Although daily brushing removes some of the stain, over time it continually darkens. Finally, one day we look in the mirror and see a yellowish-brown smile smiling back. How do we get back to white?
Various foods contribute to stained teeth.
Sometimes “stain” is actually accumulated gunk on the teeth. How can you tell? If you see that your teeth become yellow or chalky around the gumline, make an appointment for a professional dental cleaning. Our skilled hygienists know how to gently remove all the gunk. In fact, our hygienists even know special techniques to reduce built up coffee stains! Removing stain and gunk gets teeth back to their natural white in no time.
“But I Get My Teeth Cleaned Regularly!”
First off, if you’re getting your teeth cleaned regularly (i.e. every six months), great job! So, it sounds like you see your dentist for regular cleanings but your teeth aren’t getting white enough? You’re a great candidate for whitening. Either because of age, diet or a few other possible culprits, your teeth are tending to be yellower even though they’re clean. Whitening will get them to the white you want.
Teeth can also be stained with bacteria-filled calculus.
Kor Whitening: Professional Strength Teeth Whitening for Gorgeous Smiles
Our patients love the whitening power of Kor. Dentists consider Kor the most advanced teeth whitening system available because it tackles tough stains as well as it handles everyday ones. The new technology behind Kor’s gels not only minimizes tooth and gum sensitivity, but it doesn’t doesn’t need any bulky old lights to activate either. Whether you’re getting ready for a storybook wedding, a job interview or just an everyday confidence boost, Kor makes smiles stand out: cleaner and brighter and whiter.
Discolored teeth transformation using Teeth Whitening Therapy.
Discolored Teeth are Spotted Teeth:
Spots and dots are the sign that our teeth need a little extra TLC if we’re going to get them back to pearly white. Spots can be chalky white, gray or brown and may be signs of fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia, demineralization or cavities.
No one loves a spotty smile!
Spotted teeth are stained due to developmental problems.
Fluorosis Spots: Too Much Fluoride
Fluoride makes teeth stronger. That’s why it’s in our toothpaste, our mouthwash and our water. However, getting too much fluoride when teeth are developing can cause unattractive white, brown or gray spots or streaks on our teeth. Whitening teeth with fluorosis requires removing or covering the spots with polishing, cosmetic bonding, veneers or crowns.
White spots and patches from fluorosis
Enamel Hypoplasia Spots: Too Little Calcium
When we don’t get enough calcium when our teeth were developing, our teeth develop with weak enamel. Not only are these teeth weaker than normal, but they also have spots where the enamel is thinner than it should be. Dentists call this enamel hypoplasia. Enamel hypoplasia spots occur because of a person’s diet or because they have a genetic condition that makes it hard for them to use the calcium from their food. In addition, these spots often look very similar to fluorosis spots; however, it’s important to tell the difference because enamel hypoplasia spots are a sign of weakened teeth not stronger teeth.
Fixing Hypoplasia Has Bonus Benefits
Whitening teeth with enamel hypoplasia requires repairing and reinforcing the weak spots. Dentists accomplish both by covering these teeth with restorations that hide the spots and reinforce the tooth’s enamel strength. The especially good news is that fixing these spots has a TRIPLE benefit. Your “new” teeth will not only look better, but they will also be stronger AND they will be shielded from hungry cavity-causing bacteria.
Teeth with White Patches of Weakened Enamel
Visibly Thin Enamel on the Tips of Lower Teeth
Demineralized Spots: Lost Calcium
When teeth grow in healthy but lose calcium along the way, they develop spots like enamel hypoplasia. Only these spots occur later in life and have a different name: demineralization. Demineralization spots show up most commonly in kids with poor brushing habits and young adults in braces who let plaque build up around their brackets.
How does plaque suck calcium out of teeth? First of all, plaque contains bacteria that produce acid. Furthermore, this acid sucks the calcium out of teeth, leaving behind discolored demineralization spots. These weak spots are how cavities start. To get rid of these spots, a dentist must clean up the plaque and cover the demineralized spot. Not surprisingly, repairing demineralized spots affects more than just how your smile looks. It also strengthens and protects your teeth from damaging cavities! Click here to learn more.
Cavity Spots: Signs of Decay
Yikes! Some spots are actually cavities and they don’t look good at all. On the image here, you don’t have to be a dentist to see the dark brown cavity that is eating into the front tooth.
Did you spot it?
You can also see chalky white and lighter brown areas on the teeth nearby—those are demineralization spots and smaller cavities.
Cavities form in unrepaired demineralized spots. Repairing a cavity can be as easy as a filling or as complicated as a root canal and crown depending on how deep the infected has eaten into the tooth. Sometimes what appears to be a tiny spot can actually be the tip of a very large cavity inside the tooth. To fix a cavity, we have to remove the dark, infected areas of the tooth and replace it with a filling or crown. This process restores tooth esthetics and function, and protects the nerve.
Discolored Teeth can also be teeth with cavities.
Discolored Teeth are Yellowed teeth:
What’s that Yellow Stuff…?
Plaque? Root? Dentin? When teeth become yellow, it could be caused by a number of things. First of all, yellowing can occur only along the gumline or only at the tooth tips or all over the entire surface of a tooth. The pattern of yellowing holds the key to what’s causing it to yellow.
Gunk and Gums.
First, if the yellow develops up along the gumline, you (or your dentist) needs to figure out if the yellow is plaque and tartar or an area of recession. When gums recede up the tooth, it reveals the yellow surface of the tooth root and leaves a sensitive area. A professional dental cleaning will take care of plaque and tartar. Unfortunately, the solution for recession is generally more complex and involves protecting the sensitive root surface, changing in home care routines, gum therapy and sometimes gum grafting surgery to replace lost gum tissue.
Generally, if the yellow covers the entire surface of the tooth, then stain is probably building up from something you’re eating or drinking. In some cases, these external stains can be removed with a special instrument called “prophy jet” during a visit with our dental hygienist.
In other cases, the color change is coming from inside the tooth. Internal stains can be whitened with professional whitening like we discussed in the Teeth Whitening Section.
If you’ve noticed the yellow showing through on the tips or biting edges of your teeth, then you probably also notice that your teeth are starting to level out. The yellow peaking out through the tip is the soft inner part of the tooth, called dentin. Dentin shows through when enamel is worn away. In general, worn teeth get short and even all the way across the mouth with yellow tips and they don’t look good. However, worn teeth also contribute to several serious dental conditions. Click here to learn more.
From Yellow & Worn to White & Natural!
Fortunately, yellow, worn teeth can be fixed. Of all the problems that cause discolored teeth, worn teeth require the largest scale solutions. Solutions for worn teeth range from custom night guards to jaw joint therapy and cosmetic reconstruction. That being said, intervening early saves money and complications down the road. If you or someone you know has teeth that are visibly shortening or wearing even, talk to us about your options. Save yourself the hassle of losing your teeth early and the expense of a full mouth rehabilitation by seeking help while you have teeth left to fix. We can help you get a whiter, healthier smile! Click here to learn more.
Discolored Teeth are Blackened Teeth
Cavities? Yes. No. Maybe So…? Tooth decay is the most common reason a tooth gets a dark black spot or turns black. Dark colored cavities start small and brown but they get progressively darker as the infection eats into the tooth. Furthermore, other less common causes for blackened teeth include metal showing through an old restoration, the nerve dying inside the tooth and the accumulation of black tartar.
Discolored teeth due to cavities and root exposure.ems.
Teeth Blackened by Old Metal Fillings
Tooth Darkened by Internal Nerve Damage..
Transforming Black to White
- Black cavities can be repaired by removing the infected, black part of the tooth and restoring it with a filling or crown.
- Black metal from an old crown disappears when replaced with a new one made from modern, tooth colored materials.
- Blackening from a dead nerve can be reduced with internal bleaching or covered up with Porcelain restorations.
- Black tartar can be removed with the appropriate gum therapy.
Find Your Best Whitening Solution – Click below to learn more
Do you wish you had whiter teeth?
If you do, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening is one of the quickest and least expensive?
What if you could have a new smile today?
All of us have something we don’t like about our smiles.