One of the fastest ways to refresh the appearance of your smile is with dental whitening treatments. Whiter teeth look younger and healthier than dark teeth, because healthy enamel is naturally white and luminous. Unfortunately, a number of things can cause your teeth to look dark and dull over time. Keep reading to learn more from our Cheney dentists about how and why enamel changes in appearance.
As you may already know, dental enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth. Enamel is designed to be sturdy and protective, so it is fairly non-porous. That being said, it is not indestructible.
One of the ways that dental enamel becomes discolored is by foods and drinks that leave color deposits on the tooth. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and deeply colored sauces can all lead to dental staining. Tobacco products are also notorious for discoloring teeth. This type of dental staining can often be greatly improved with professional topical whitening treatments.
Your teeth may also start to look dark or yellow because your dental enamel is actually thinning. Enamel wears down over time, and this process can be exacerbated by acidic substances and chronic conditions like bruxism. As your enamel disappears, more of the dentin (the layer of the under the enamel) is able to show through to the surface of the tooth. Because dentin is yellow, your entire smile starts to look discolored.
Significant dental damage can also alter the shade of your smile. If a tooth root becomes damaged, for example, the entire tooth can start to look gray and dull. This type of discoloration may not be treatable with topical whitening gels; you may instead choose to resurface the problematic tooth (or teeth) using a cosmetic treatment like dental bonding or porcelain veneers.
The type of whitening treatment that works for your smile will depend on why your smile is discolored, and your ultimate aesthetic goals. Our Cheney dentists can help you assess your treatment options and choose the treatment, or combination of treatments, that is best for your smile.
To get started, call our dental office, or use the Contact Us page on our website to schedule a personal consultation.