What causes teeth to discolour? Bristol dentistThere are many factors that affect the colour of our teeth, some of which are well known, others are much more obscure. Whereas regular brushing can go a long way to helping keep teeth white, there are some issues where brushing alone won’t quite cut it.

Ageing causes the enamel to become thinner, giving teeth a yellowish tinge. This is something that will happen to all of us, some of us are happy to live with the discolouration brought on by age, while others feel it is not a compromise they are prepared to make. Strong coloured food and drink (such as coffee, tea and red wine) can also stain teeth, as will tobacco for smokers. But what else affects how bright our smiles are?

Exposure to fluoride

Most people have heard that fluoride is good for teeth, but exposure to fluoride when teeth are young and still developing can be harmful to the soft enamel. During early childhood, exposure to fluoride should
be carefully limited. Toothpaste containing fluoride is recommended only for children of three years and older, and for those aged between three and six years old, this must be no more than the size of a garden pea.

Even in adults, excessive exposure to fluoride can cause teeth to get darker. Luckily, professional whitening treatments can often reverse the effects of too much fluoride in later life.

Damage to the tooth or its root

If you’ve suffered an injury to your mouth then this can cause bleeding inside the tooth, leading to discolouration. A fall, a sporting injury or any other accident that has exerted pressure on your teeth can lead to permanent discolouration of the affected teeth.

At CK Dental Practice in Bristol, we can help if you’re suffering from a darkened tooth. Professional cleaning can help remove some stubborn surface stains, whereas for more serious discolouration there are some more technical options available. Individual teeth can be capped with a ‘bonding component’ which is attached to the tooth and will cover its darker appearance. This component will be matched to the colour of your non-damaged teeth. Alternatively, porcelain veneers can be fitted over the teeth. This is becoming more and more popular over time, with many high profile figures improving the appearance of their smile with veneers.

If you are concerned about the colour of your teeth and wish to discuss options, get in touch with the team here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, who will be able to offer advice based specifically on what is causing the discolouration you’re unhappy with.

Why do teeth discolour with age? Bristol dentistThere are many things that happen to the human body as we age, and one of these is discolouration of the teeth. Your once shiny, pearly white smile might start to take on a yellowish tinge as the years creep up on you, but what exactly causes this?

Despite the steps forward humans have taken in an evolutionary sense, we still only get two sets of teeth in our lifetime, the second of which last for the vast majority of our lives. As with any part of the body, teeth are subjected to wear and tear, and will naturally get weaker over time.

One sign that teeth are ageing is discolouration, which is caused by the tooth enamel thinning. As the enamel coating gets thinner it begins to take on a more transparent state, which means that the components inside the tooth start to become visible. Inside teeth is a material called “dentine” which is yellow in colour. It is this which starts to become visible, giving the appearance of discoloured teeth.

Can anything be done to combat the appearance of ageing teeth?

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol we understand that people like to retain a youthful appearance for as long as possible. If maintaining a bright, white smile is important to you then there are options that can help address the natural aging process of your teeth.

As well as teeth whitening in Bristol, we also offer porcelain veneers, which can be fitted to natural teeth to mask the effects of tooth discolouration and are growing steadily in popularity.

A more natural alternative

There are also steps that can be taken to help keep teeth white that does not involve dentistry. Avoiding foods that stain teeth is a sensible starting point. Drinks such as red wine, coffee, tea and foods that contain a lot of artificial strong colouring should be avoided if you’re worried that your teeth are darkening, as these can exacerbate the problem.

Tobacco is also a common culprit for teeth discolouration. Nicotine and the tar found within cigarettes stains heavily, but the good news is the effects are not permanent. If you’re prepared to ditch the habit and to get your teeth ‘deep cleaned’ then it is possible to remove a lot of the discoloration caused by smoking.


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Email: info@ckdental.co.uk

Telephone: 0117 9059 866

CK Dental | Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital – The Chesterfield, 3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN