Common Causes of Stained and Discolored Teeth in San Francisco

Nobody likes looking in the mirror at a smile that is discolored or filled with stained teeth, but Dr. Robert M. Walley is the sort of dentist who can help just about anyone bring the vibrance and liveliness back to a smile that’s undergone some discoloration over the years. Of course, it is important to know what sorts of things are causing those stained teeth so patients can begin their process of improving their smile by pulling back on the bad habits that cause the discoloration in the first place.

Seven Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

The following are seven of the most common causes of stained and discolored teeth:

#1 Certain Foods and Drinks

While there are plenty of foods that can stain teeth temporarily, certain foods can slowly discolor teeth permanently, with beverages like coffee, tea, cola, and wine being the most common culprits. Some foods, like apples and potatoes, can stain teeth over time, as well. While it’s not necessary to completely cut these from your diet, it is worth knowing that someone who consumes a lot of these foods and beverages could be experiencing tooth discoloration as a result.

#2 Tobacco Use

Smoking and chewing tobacco are two of the most common culprits of tooth discoloration, which likely doesn’t come as a huge surprise—especially to the person using those tobacco products. But if you’re serious about healthier-looking teeth, cutting back on tobacco use is a great place to start.

#3 Poor Dental Hygiene

Failure to brush and floss twice a day can cause all sorts of problems for your teeth and gums, including (but not limited to) tooth discoloration. Some of the ill effects of drinking coffee and smoking can be mitigated by simply brushing, flossing, and rinsing as often as recommended.

#4 Tooth Diseases

Certain tooth diseases can impact the enamel and dentin on your teeth, which is what causes tooth discoloration. Your dentist can help diagnose this problem and help patients work toward a life where this doesn’t become an irreversible issue.

#5 Some Antibiotics

Tetracycline and doxycycline are two antibiotics for which tooth discoloration is a listed side effect in children under the age of eight.

#6 Age and Genetics

Sometimes, discoloration is beyond your control. As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth wears away, leaving your teeth vulnerable to discoloration and revealing the natural yellow color of the dentin that lies underneath. Furthermore, some people are just born with brighter or thicker enamel than others, meaning genetics can play a role in tooth coloration, as well.

#7 Trauma

Damage from a fall or an auto accident may not knock a tooth loose, but it can do enough damage to discolor a tooth. While it’s great to have that tooth in place, a gray tooth in the midst of an otherwise white smile can be pretty glaring.

If you have stained or discolored teeth and would like to meet with Dr. Walley to determine the best approach to brightening your smile, please give us a call so we can set up a consultation and begin the process of making you fall in love with a bright, white smile.