Are You Experiencing Discolored Teeth?

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
December 22, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: teeth whitening  

Your teeth look yellow, grey, or just downright dingy, but it’s not your fault! There are many reasons which may have caused your smile to lose its luster. Fortunately, in-office teeth whitening might be the solution you need for a perfectly white, bright smile. Dr. Bruce Hanley in Arlington, VA can help make your smile movie-star beautiful.

Why Are My Teeth Discolored?

When you’re young, your teeth are beautifully white. Over time, they can become yellow, grey, or dingy-looking. There are many reasons for this:

The food and drinks you choose can discolor your teeth. Beverages like wine, coffee, and tea are notorious for causing your teeth to lose their shine. The pigments in these drinks and even foods you eat like turmeric attach to your tooth enamel, causing them to become stained.

Tar and nicotine in tobacco products stain teeth. Tar and nicotine are very discoloring in combination. 

Your teeth get less white with age. Beneath the top layer of your enamel is a soft layer called dentin. Over time,  the enamel wears away to reveal the naturally yellowish-colored dentin beneath. 

Medications may stain teeth. Antihistamines, antipsychotics, or even high blood pressure medication can cause teeth discoloration. People who took tetracycline when they were younger may experience tooth discoloration, and even their children may experience it if it was taken while pregnant.

Injuries cause teeth to look less white. The loss of blood flow to the root of a tooth can cause it to appear less white and bright, and instead appear a grey tone. 

Can I Use an At-Home Treatment?

There are many home remedies for whiter teeth but they may not be the fastest, best, or healthiest. In some cases, whitening treatments won’t change your tooth color at all, particularly if you have crowns or veneers. Here are a few common at-home teeth whitening remedies:

  • Strips 
  • Pens
  • Toothpaste
  • Kits

According to scientific research conducted by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, some hydrogen-peroxide-based teeth whitening products change the protein inside the dentin layer. This layer keeps your teeth healthy. [1] If you’re going to apply a home-whitening product, it’s best to use one that contains an alternative ingredient or seek in-office treatment with a dentist instead.

Why are In-Office Whitening Treatments Better?

When you get your teeth whitened in-office you don’t have to wait weeks or months for results. Your gums are also protected to keep the hydrogen peroxide from irritating them. The results are also often more visually stunning since the solution penetrates deeper into the teeth.

To schedule a dental appointment for a bright, white new smile, contact Dr. Bruce Hanley in Arlington, VA  at (703) 524-7100.