Keeping teeth, white, bright and healthy can be as simple as just brushing and flossing twice a day. However, teeth can become slowly discoloured for a number of reasons.
A tooth is made up of 3 layers. The hard white enamel on the outside, the softer yellow dentine in the middle and the nerve of the tooth at the centre. As we age, due to wear and tear through eating, drinking brushing etc., the enamel layer becomes thinner and the more yellow dentine layer become more visible. Additionally, the dentine layer also become thicker over time which contributes overall to the teeth appears more yellow.
Trauma as a result of an accident or even through grinding can cause the dentine to become thicker as a reaction to the injury. This thicker layer of dentine appears more yellow under the more translucent enamel.
- Foods and Drinks
Coffee, tea, red wine, heavily coloured foods and drinks are notorious for causing staining. These foods and drinks contact intense colour pigments are called chromogens which adhere to the enamel layer of the tooth. Over time as more chromogens adhere to the enamel, it becomes more visible and appears as a stain.
- Tobacco Use
Nicotine and tar are two chemicals found commonly in tobacco. Tar is a naturally dark colour. Nicotine on the other hand is colourless and becomes a yellow colour on exposure to air.
Some medications can cause teeth to darken and can include antihistamines, antipsychotics, antibiotics as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The Wisdom Tooth at Smile Hawthorn