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Is Tooth Discoloration Bad? 

Updated March 11, 2022

If you notice that your teeth aren’t quite as white as they used to be, or if there’s a sudden appearance of brown, yellowish, or black spots, you have every right to be concerned. After all, we all want to have bright, white smiles we’re proud to show off. But if your smile is less than its ideal shade of white, your dentist in Memphis can help. 

What Causes Tooth Staining? 

Before we can dive into ways to fix a dull or discolored smile, we need to understand what caused it in the first place. There are several lifestyle factors, as well as health conditions, that can contribute to tooth discoloration. The root cause varies from person to person, and the treatment will differ as well. So let’s take a look at some of the most common things that can cause teeth to darken. 

  • Lifestyle Factors

Perhaps the most common reasons behind a change in tooth color are things we do in our lives every day. The foods we eat, the medicines we take, and the habits we may have all play a role in tooth discoloration. For example, red wine drinkers may experience darkening of the teeth because of the staining properties in the wine itself. What’s more, is that everyday things such as a morning cup of tea or coffee and certain medications can also cause discoloration. Lastly, those who use tobacco products are more likely to not only have tooth staining but also additional dental concerns that will require treatment from your Memphis dentist.  

  • Dental Health Contributors

However, it’s not always a lifestyle factor that leads to tooth discoloration. Overall oral and overall health complications can also darken teeth. There are various health conditions that can cause this including:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Dental materials such as amalgam or metal fillings
  • Sudden trauma to the face or teeth
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Certain diseases and their treatments such as cancer radiation

Color Variations Can Be Normal 

It’s important to note that each person’s natural tooth color varies, so don’t base your smile on what you see in others. If your regular checkups with your dentist in Memphis are always good and there are no signs of trouble, you may just have naturally darker teeth. However, if it bothers you, your dentist can recommend smile whitening treatments to help transform your look. Some forms of cosmetic dentistry that can whiten teeth include: 

  • In-office professional smile whitening 
  • Dental bonding
  • Crowns
  • Veneers

Not all treatments are appropriate for each case, so talk with your dentist about the best way to whiten your smile.

If you’re concerned about the way your smile looks and are searching for ways to get whiter teeth, talk with your dentist in Memphis. It’s especially important to have this discussion prior to starting treatment on your own such as over-the-counter whitening treatments.