Most causes of tooth discoloration fall into two main categories: internal stains and external stains. Internal ones arise in a special structure of the tooth, covered with enamel. It is called dentin. It is composed of hydroxyapatite (70% by weight), organic material (20%) and water (10%), with dentin thickness ranging from 2 to 6 millimeters.
Internal stains on teeth can show up from medication. For example, if children take the antibiotics tetracycline or doxycycline while their teeth are still developing, the color of the teeth may turn almost brownish yellow. Adult use of a chlorhexidine-containing mouthwash can also discolor teeth.
Chemotherapy, radiation to the head and neck can lead to internal blemishes. Even some popular medications such as antihistamines, antipsychotics (antipsychotics), and blood pressure medications sometimes cause teeth to turn yellow.
We all know that fluoride toothpaste is useful in every sense. But not everyone is aware that too much of this mineral in our body negatively affects the color of the teeth. Fluorosis, a condition that occurs with prolonged ingestion of water or foods with a high content of fluoride compounds, can cause white streaks or brown spots on the teeth.
External stains appear on the surface of the enamel, which is the hard outer layer of the tooth. The bad news is that tooth enamel stains easily. But there is also a good one – these stains can usually be removed or corrected.
The main reason for the yellowing of tooth enamel is classic bad habits such as smoking, drinking coffee and tea on an industrial scale. The tar and nicotine in tobacco are chemicals that cause yellowish stains on the surface of teeth quite easily.
As practice shows, any food or drink that can stain clothes can also stain your tooth enamel. This is why dark colored foods (red wine, cola, chocolate, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, curry, etc.) can lead to darkening of the teeth. In addition, certain fruits and vegetables such as grapes, blueberries, cherries, beets and pomegranates also stain teeth. These fruits contain a large amount of chromogens – substances that produce pigments that easily adhere to the teeth. Popsicles and sweets from the same list.
It’s not just one lifestyle that affects the color of your teeth. Apart from blemishes, there is genetics, age, disease and injury. All this also imposes its own, let’s say, color. Dentinogenesis imperfecta (dentin malformation) and amelogenesis imperfecta (when enamel formation is impaired) are two hereditary diseases that cause malformed teeth. And darkening of the enamel is the most harmless thing on the list of related problems of these ailments.
Heredity is also the reason why some people naturally have brighter or thicker tooth enamel than others. You may simply be born with teeth that appear yellower or whiter. This is in part due to the thickness of the enamel, which is translucent: if you have a thin layer of enamel, the true color of your natural yellowish dentin will show through better.
Disease can also affect the color of your teeth. Yellowing can occur after suffering a high temperature at a young age or due to an infection.
Falls or sports injuries in young children can interfere with the formation of tooth enamel when children are still developing their permanent teeth. Such injuries, damaging nerves or chipping teeth in adults, can also lead to discoloration of permanent teeth. People who like to grit their teeth from anger or just in a dream are also at risk. Abrasion removes the outer layer of tooth enamel, exposing the yellowish dentin underneath.