Why Do Teeth Change Color? Our Cheney Dentist Addresses This Question

Written by Dr. Collins on Jun 20, 2017

Many people notice that their teeth start to look different—change in color and texture—over time. This can be distressing for dental patients, because they begin to feel like their teeth look older than they are as well as poorly maintained.

Our Cheney cosmetic dentists are here with some more information about how dental staining develops in the first place, so that you can take steps to minimize the occurrence of dental discoloration in your own life.

When most people first think of dental discoloration they think of environmental stains: color deposits from strongly pigmented foods, drinks, and tobacco products. This type of discoloration usually develops over time, and may become more apparent as the patient’s enamel begins to thin. There are a number of popular foods and drinks that contribute to environmental staining including soft drinks, red wine, coffee, tea, chocolate, and red sauces. In order to combat environmental stains, you want to make sure that you’re cleaning your smile as directed by your dentist, and rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking. Also, avoid tobacco all together, as this is a leading cause of unattractive stains.

Another reason that teeth change teeth is because the state of the patient’s dental enamel changes. Healthy dental enamel is fairly thick, and looks white and luminous. Although dental enamel is strong, it isn’t indestructible. Chronic grinding, acidic substances, and oral bacteria can all cause enamel to deteriorate over time; the result is that the dental layer under the enamel, called the dentin, is able to show through to the surface of the tooth. Because dentin is yellow and darker than enamel, the patient’s entire tooth can start to look dull and dark.

Staying diligent about maintaining healthy enamel is one of the best things to do in order to minimize your risk of developing stained or dark teeth. If you want to learn more you can always reach out to our Cheney dentists for help!