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Dark Teeth

 

There are several causes of tooth discoloration, including:

 

  • Foods/drinks. Coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables (for example, apples and potatoes) can stain yourteeth.

  • Tobacco use.Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.

  • Poor dental hygiene. 

  • Disease. Several diseases that affect enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the underlying material under enamel) can lead totooth discoloration. Treatments for certain conditions can also affect tooth color. For example, head and neck radiation andchemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration. In addition, certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause tooth discoloration in theinfant by affecting enamel development.

  • Medications. The antibioticstetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before age 8). Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth.Antihistamines (like Benadryl), antipsychotic drugs, and drugs forhigh blood pressure also cause teeth discoloration.

  • Dental materials. Some of the materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam restorations, especially silver sulfide-containing materials, can cast a gray-black color to teeth.

  • Advancing age. As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away, revealing the natural yellow color of dentin.

  • Genetics. Some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others.

  • Environment. Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources (naturally high fluoride levels in water) or from excessive use (fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplementstaken by mouth) can cause teeth discoloration.

  • Trauma. For example, damage from a fall can disturb enamel formation in young children whose teeth are still developing. Trauma can also cause discoloration to adult teeth.

 

What Treatment Options Are Available to Whiten Teeth?

 

Treatment options to whiten teeth can vary depending on the cause of the discoloration and may include:

  • Using proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques

  • Dental cleaning

  • Veneers

  • Whitening

 

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