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How Do Dental Stains Begin?

Posted on 11/9/2020 by Office of Dr. James A. Krippaehne
How Do Dental Stains Begin?Dental stains result from consuming foods or drinks that stain the teeth, or from taking certain medications or using tobacco. Poor dental hygiene contributes to surface staining as well. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a white and bright smile is important to 99% of people when it comes to interacting socially.

How Stains Penetrate the Dental Enamel

The main reason for discoloration is due to the permeability of the enamel and the level of erosion. While most people would like a whiter smile, that is not always possible, given a person's lifestyle and age. That is why you need to find out how to whiten your teeth safely and keep them from staining. The average thickness of enamel is approximately the size of a key's thickness or a thin ring band. Its purpose is to safeguard the dentin and inner layers from acids. When the white layers of the enamel wear away, the dentin is exposed, leading to fading and discoloration. Stains can also permeate the enamel when patients take certain medications. If your tooth has been affected by trauma, it can change a tooth's color.

Other Reasons Why Stains Begin

If you forget to brush or floss your teeth, you can cause a build-up of food stains and plaque. In addition, skipping professional cleanings can lead to staining. In some cases, stains cannot be avoided. For example, radiation and chemotherapy treatments can discolor the teeth. If you have amalgam restorations, especially any containing silver-sulfide, they can add a gray-black cast to the teeth. In addition, as people age, the enamel wears away, and the dentin becomes more visible. When this happens, it also reduces the size of the pulp, making a tooth appear darker and less translucent.

As long as you know the reason to tooth staining, you can take measures to prevent further discoloration and find out your best options for whitening. Call us today to obtain further details about tooth whitening, or contact us and make an appointment for a dental cleaning and exam.
We believe in educating patients about their treatment options and listening to their questions and concerns.
We focus on prevention so that you keep your smile healthy. We provide excellent comfortable care for all procedures.
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