Yellowing teeth is one of the most common forms of tooth discoloration that we see in our office each day. We get asked from time to time, “Do Teeth Yellow With Age?” There are a number of things that can cause this type of tooth discoloration; age is only one of them. As you age, the outer layer of tooth enamel can begin to wear away, leaving your teeth more translucent and exposing the dentin within. This material has a yellowish color, making your teeth appear yellow as well. As the enamel continues to wear away, your teeth will begin to produce more dentin, making them appear darker as well.
What Are Some Other Causes of Yellow Teeth?
Tooth discoloration can have a number of different causes. While aging is one of the most common causes, there are a number of other things that may cause your teeth to appear yellowed, darkened, or otherwise discolored, including:
- Acid Erosion – over time, the foods you eat can also erode the tooth enamel in a similar way to aging, only much faster
- Lifestyle – tobacco use and consumption of sodas, dark teas, coffee, fruit juices and wine can discolor or yellow your teeth
- Disease – certain infections and medications can discolor your teeth (including some antibiotics, antihistamines, and more)
- Oral Trauma – a tooth that has been hurt may begin to become darker or discolored
Preventing Tooth Discoloration
One of the best ways to prevent tooth discoloration is to make lifestyle changes. Avoid coffee, dark tea, soda, and other foods known to discolor your teeth. If you must consume these products, or other acidic foods (such as apples or citrus fruits), rinse your mouth thoroughly afterward in order to prevent the acid from beginning to affect your teeth. Keep a regular schedule of bi-annual visits with your dentist for professional cleanings, which can keep yellowish tartar and plaque from building up on your teeth.
Treating Tooth Discoloration
Sometimes tooth discoloration will still occur, in spite of your best efforts to prevent it. In this case, there are a number of ways that your dentist can treat the discoloration, depending on your individual needs. Some common whitening solutions include:
- Over-the-Counter Whitening – over-the-counter solutions can help to whiten your teeth, but they should be used with caution. If your discoloration is due to acid erosion or aging, these chemical and abrasive agents may actually make the problem worse.
- In-Office Whitening – the in-office solutions offered by your dentist’s office will provide far better results than what you’ll receive from over-the-counter treatments. Consult your dentist to find out which in-office treatment is best for you.
- Dental Veneers – if other whitening solutions are not for you, dental veneers may be the ideal solution. These cover the visible surfaces of your teeth, and can be used to correct other dental issues in addition to discoloration.
- Dental Bonding – if you have a single tooth that has become darkened or discolored due to injury or other damage.
No matter what type of tooth discoloration you have, our office has treatments that can help correct it. Contact us today and let our highly skilled and friendly team help you find the whitening solution that will return your teeth to their naturally white brilliance.