Why are my teeth discolored?

We all want that perfectly white smile, but unfortunately, as we age, our teeth lose that bright luster we had as children. However, sometimes our teeth become markedly discolored, which is usually embarrassing and can lead to covering up or hiding your smile.

The most common cause of tooth discoloration is injury, such as falling or accidentally biting down on something far harder than typical food. When this happens, you most often know it immediately and can see the discoloration happen over a matter of hours.

There are other causes of tooth discoloration, and many can be easily solved by changing your lifestyle habits or scheduling a teeth whitening procedure with your dentist. For example, consuming dark foods and beverages consistently will stain your teeth. These include coffee, tea, red wine, dark chocolate, dark sodas, red berries, and blueberries, just to name a few. Smoking or chewing tobacco will also discolor your teeth, and often it’s worse than consuming dark foods.

Insufficient dental hygiene practices can also cause teeth discoloration. Not brushing and flossing often enough or properly can cause plaque build-up on the tooth’s surface, where it can harden and bond to the teeth over time. Now your teeth are not only discolored, but they’re also at risk for decay and cavities.

Are you taking any antibiotics? Some antibiotics can discolor your teeth (even your mouth!), and it should be listed as one of the medication’s side effects. The effect is often worse for children under eight years old.

How can I fix my tooth discoloration?

If your tooth discoloration is caused by any of the non-trauma factors, then it’s often relatively simple to correct it. For starters, cut down on the amount of dark foods and beverages, and of course, quit smoking or chewing tobacco. If you don’t brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, start doing so.

Need to drastically improve the color of your teeth? Contact your dentist for a teeth whitening appointment. An in-office teeth whitening procedure is safe takes relatively little time, and the results are almost instantaneous.

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