We Offer Diverse Treatments to Improve Stained Teeth
Often, patients with stained or yellow teeth feel self-conscious about their smile due to the common misconception that discolored teeth are less healthy. While poor oral hygiene can cause dental staining, there are many other reasons why your smile may become discolored, including genetics and medications. Dr. Jerry Hancock can evaluate the cause of staining and recommend a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve a brighter smile you can feel confident in. Offering a broad spectrum of treatment at our Nashville, TN, practice, this may include teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, or a custom crown.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
There are many reasons your teeth may appear yellow or discolored. Staining can affect your teeth in two different ways.
Extrinsic stains affect the outer layer of the tooth, known as the enamel and are often caused by:
- Chewing tobacco
- Coffee or tea
- Red wine
- Sodas, especially dark colas
- Dark sauces
- Fruits, such as berries, grapes, pomegranates, cherries, and tomatoes
- Food dyes
Acidic foods and beverages can erode your tooth enamel, allowing the inner, yellowish layer to show.
In contrast, intrinsic stains affect the inner layer of your tooth, known as dentin. The causes of intrinsic stains include:
- Excessive fluoride use
- Dental treatments, such as amalgam fillings
- Dental trauma
- Genetic conditions, such as dentinogenesis imperfecta
Certain medications can also contribute to intrinsic staining.
For some patients, yellowing and staining are natural parts of the aging process. As we age, the enamel in our teeth thins and more of the inner layer shows through. Additionally, thin enamel allows stains to stick to teeth more easily.
Are Stained Teeth Unhealthy?
The color of your teeth is not directly connected to the state of your oral health. However, certain types of stains can reflect an underlying issue, especially green or orange stains. In general, if you notice any sudden change to the color or appearance of your teeth, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hancock.
Treatment of Stained Teeth
The optimal method for brightening your smile will depend on the cause and types of stains affecting your teeth. Dr. Hancock can perform a full examination of your smile and recommend the best treatment option for you.
Teeth whitening is often recommended to patients suffering from extrinsic staining. Over-the-counter toothpastes, mouthwashes, and whitening strips may help with very minor discoloration. However, dentist-supervised teeth whitening is generally more effective. We offer both in-office and take-home treatment options.
Porcelain veneers are custom-crafted from dental-grade porcelain, a substance which mimics that reflective properties of natural teeth. A dental veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that your dentist places over the top of a tooth to conceal discoloration and staining. Veneers are often recommended for severe extrinsic staining or to conceal intrinsic stains.
Dr. Hancock can evaluate the cause of staining and recommend a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve a brighter smile you can feel confident in.
A dental crown is a restoration that is designed to resemble the natural tooth structure. Our crowns are crafted from dental porcelain and can be placed over a tooth to discreetly conceal discoloration. A crown is often recommended for patients who have a single tooth with severe intrinsic staining.
During a dental bonding treatment, your dentist can apply composite resin to the areas of your smile affected by staining. Dr. Hancock can color-match the bonding material to the surrounding teeth for a seamless result. Bonding is effective for small areas of staining and is one of the easiest and most inexpensive options available in cosmetic dentistry.
How to Prevent Staining
Maintaining a consistent oral health routine is an easy way to prevent stains and discoloration from affecting your smile. You can also adjust your eating and drinking habits to avoid stain-causing foods and beverages. Other techniques for maintaining a white smile include:
- Brushing your teeth after eating or drinking something that can stain your teeth
- Rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking
- Using a straw for stain-causing beverages
- Avoiding tobacco products
Regular professional cleanings can also help prevent plaque and tartar build-up which can create a yellowish appearance.
Brighten Your Smile
Do not allow stained teeth to detract from your smile. Learn more about how we can help you achieve a brighter smile by contacting us online or calling us at (615) 383-0132.
“The staff is super friendly and efficient, and I always walk out of their office with a smile…a much brighter one!” —Kate