Santa Monica Cosmetic Dentist Helps You Understand Why And How Teeth Become Discolored

by Dr. Follette | Date Published: 2016-09-27

We all want to enjoy bright and healthy looking smiles. However, many of the things that we consume day in and day out, and many of our less-than-optimal dental habits can cause our teeth to become discolored or stained. Today our Santa Monica cosmetic dentists are giving you some more information about how and why dental enamel starts to look dark and stained. We hope that this information will help you make good decisions for your smile!

Environmental stains

One of the most common reasons that teeth become stained is due to environmental staining. This occurs when foods, drinks, or (especially) tobacco products leave color deposits on the patient’s dental enamel. Common drinks that cause staining: soft drinks, red wine, tea, coffee, dark juices. Popular foods that lead to dental staining: richly colored berries, dark sauces, chocolate. The good news is that this type of staining is often effectively addressed with topical professional dental whitening treatments.

Structural changes to the dental enamel

You may notice that your teeth look darker or yellower because your dental enamel has started to thin. When enamel becomes weaker and thinner, more of the (yellow) dentin that sits below the enamel is able to shine through to the surface of the tooth: this gives the patient’s smile a dull and dark appearance. Enamel naturally begins to thin as we age. Additionally, acidic substances, like fruit juices, cola, and wine can increase the rate of dental thinning.

Dental damage

Sometimes teeth start to look dark or grey because the base of the tooth has been damaged in an accident. If the nerve of your tooth is compromised, your whole tooth may start to look lusterless and stained.

Our Santa Monica cosmetic dentists offer treatments to address all of these issues,