Discolored teeth are a common cosmetic dental concern that we treat in our Lancaster and Palmdale, CA dental offices. Genetics, lifestyle habits, and diet all play a role in the appearance of your teeth. Premature tooth discoloration could be a result of medication, injury, or other issues. Poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, and consuming staining drinks like coffee, tea, and wine can also impact tooth color.
Treatment Options for Discolored Teeth
The most common way to treat discolored teeth is with professional tooth whitening. It offers many benefits compared to over-the-counter options. Professional products give you a whiter smile with less sensitivity. We offer both in-office and at-home whitening treatments, depending on your preference and what fits best with your goals and budget. Take-home whitening is a more gradual process, while in-office whitening is ideal when you have a big event coming up.
There are some forms of tooth discoloration that don’t respond to traditional whitening techniques. In cases like these, porcelain veneers are a good choice. They’re made of thin shells of dental ceramic that go over the front and sides of your teeth. They’re color-matched to the shade of white you prefer. Porcelain veneers are considered a permanent restoration and the material they’re made of is designed to be stain-resistant.
If you’re not ready for a permanent restoration or are looking for a more cost-effective option than porcelain veneers, tooth bonding is the answer. The bonding material is malleable so that it can completely cover a discolored tooth. The material can also be color-matched to any shade you desire. Tooth bonding isn’t considered a permanent restoration and it lasts about 3-10 years, depending on how well it’s taken care of.
What Causes Discolored Teeth?
There are many different reasons why you may have discolored teeth. For starters, genetics plays a factor. All of us have teeth that are of different shades. You may be predisposed to have discoloration. Age is a natural factor as well. As we get older, the outer tooth enamel layer thins, so the dentin layer shows through more prominently. Dentin is typically more yellow, so your teeth will continue to get more yellow as the enamel wears away.
Many different lifestyle habits can contribute to discolored teeth. Smoking leaves your teeth susceptible to tar and other discoloring chemicals. If you regularly drink coffee, tea, cola, or other dark drinks, those will change the shade of your teeth over time as well.
Certain medications stain teeth, especially if they’re taken when you’re a child that’s still developing. These leave permanent staining that doesn’t usually respond to traditional whitening treatments. Trauma to the tooth also changes the color. If the tooth is damaged enough that it’s no longer receiving blood flow, it’ll become a gray color.
Discolored Teeth FAQs
Are there consequences to having discolored teeth?
Most of the time, discolored teeth are just a cosmetic issue. However, depending on the causes of your discolored teeth, you may be more likely to suffer from tooth decay or other oral health issues.
What if tooth whitening doesn’t work?
While professional teeth whitening is a quality solution for most types of dental staining, there are some stains that may be resistant. For instance, spots caused by medication won’t respond to traditional whitening techniques. A consultation with your dentist can determine what whitening solutions would be best for you.
Request a Dental Exam Today
Call our Lancaster, CA dentist office at (661) 948-6700 or schedule a dental visit to our Lancaster dentist office online. Call our Palmdale, CA dentist office at (661) 273-6565 or schedule a visit to our Palmdale dentist office online.