The surface of teeth, owing to its light color and mineralized nature, is susceptible to staining. However, when staining occurs especially in teeth that become prominent upon smiling, it can lead to low self confidence issues among individuals affecting their social and personal lives.
Staining can either be temporary or permanent, intrinsic or extrinsic – and the treatments are planned according to the patients’ histories. There are a number of factors responsible for dental staining, the most prominent of which include excessive smoking, frequent consumption of staining beverages such as wine, tea and coffee, improper oral hygiene, necrosis of the pulp, Fluorosis, dental restorations, and drugs such as tetracyclines etc. However, dentistry has different treatments that can restore or improve the shade of the teeth after following discoloration.
In order to plan a treatment, the team at Jeanne Taylor DDS – Austin Central Dental carefully assesses the condition and its extent. If the staining is generalized, that is, if it affects or most of the teeth in the oral cavity, teeth whitening is advised which is a simple non-invasive, painless procedure during which a bleaching agent is applied on to the teeth and activated with the help of a specialized light to break down stains. Teeth whitening procedures offer outstanding results and significantly improve the shade of the teeth; it can also be done at home using whitening kits.
If the discoloration or staining is restricted to one tooth only, such as in case of a metal restoration, or pulp death, other procedures such as dental veneering and capping are advised. Both veneers and crowns cover the affected tooth and restore its aesthetics concealing the discoloration completely. However, unlike whitening, these procedures require tooth preparation which involves slight trimming of the affected tooth on to which the restoration is later cemented.
In order to prevent discoloration, one must maintain and good, regular oral hygiene regime which must involve brushing twice a day, flossing after meals and visiting the dentist monthly for checkups. Staining food, beverages and other substances such as tobacco and cigarettes must be avoided to maintain a beautiful, winning, sparkling smile always!