Discolored teeth are much more than an aesthetic concern. But why discolored teeth can be harmful may surprise you. They could indicate damage to the teeth with the potential for far-reaching side effects. As a result, discoloration should be taken seriously, and you should always consult with your local dentist in Burbank if you notice new discoloration since your last dental visit. Keeping that in mind, there are also a number of factors that can cause discoloration without serious damage to the tooth. Unfortunately, this form of discoloration comes with its own set of drawbacks.
The Cost of Discolored Teeth
It may be true that your discolored teeth aren’t causing any medical complications, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other negative results. Smiling is actually a really important part of American culture, and people are expected to smile almost constantly. In fact, visitors to the United States often comment on how often Americans smile.
However, it does serve an important social function here in the states.
Smiling is one of the key ways that we communicate positivity, kindness, and confidence. A good smile is especially important for first impressions. Sadly that means that people with less attractive smiles or those who don’t smile because they’re self-conscious about their teeth pay a steep social price. In many cases, it costs them personally as well as professionally.
Why Discolored Teeth Can Be Harmful
According to data published by the New York Times, about one-third of people in low-income households reported that they felt they had missed out on job opportunities due to their teeth. There are certainly exceptions, but data repeatedly shows that people with discolored teeth are more likely to miss important opportunities. They may have a harder time finding work or building social connections, leading to economic and emotional consequences. Therefore, it is more than reasonable to assert that worrying about your teeth is about much more than vanity. It is about your success as well as your happiness.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Tooth discoloration can come from many things. Certain lifestyle choices increase your risk of developing discoloration, but those aren’t the only ways for discoloration to form. In fact, many of the most common causes are unavoidable and happen long before adulthood. Some common causes of tooth discoloration include:
- Staining foods and drinks such as dark sodas, coffee, and wine
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Inadequate oral hygiene
- Diseases that prevent normal development of enamel
- Some medical treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy
- Some medications including several antibiotics, antihistamines, and antihypertensive drugs
- Dental restorations that use silver-sulfide products
- Aging, which causes the enamel to thing
- Genetics, which may result in naturally thin enamel
- An excess of fluoride
- Physical trauma to the mouth at a young age, which can disrupt enamel formation
Regardless of the cause, the end result is the same. Fortunately, advances in teeth whitening mean that the damage doesn’t have to be permanent. In most cases, there are plenty of options that you can use to make your teeth appear whiter.
Treating Tooth Discoloration
Professional teeth whitening is the most effective treatment for discolored teeth in Burbank. There are over-the-counter options, but they are not the same thing. You see, your dentist’s expertise allows them to use a much stronger formula to effectively whiten your teeth without damaging your gums. An in-office treatment also allows your dentist to choose where the product is applied. For patients with noticeable stains that unevenly discolor their teeth having a professional treatment makes a huge difference. The last thing you want from a teeth whitening is for everything to be uniformly brightened so that the discoloration is more visible than ever.