DISCOLOURED TEETH: EXTRINSIC STAINS AND TARTAR
Discolored teeth refer to teeth that have changed in colour as a result of external influences.
Discolorations are mainly extrinsic i.e., staining on the external surface of the teeth.
The following are sources of discolorations
Poor oral hygiene- Failure to maintain good oral hygiene results in the accumulation of food particles around the teeth. These can vary in colour depending with what you consume frequently. Long term they harden to form tartar around the teeth.
Eating habits e.g., tea and coffee – long term and frequent consumption of foods or drinks such as coffee without the appropriate cleaning afterwards results in dark spots commonly referred to as coffee stains on the inner surfaces of teeth where it commonly comes into contact.
Tobacco chewing and smoking – Tobacco is one of the biggest culprits in staining of teeth. Long term consumption of tobacco is linked to discolored teeth among other diseases.
Some mouthwashes e.g., chlorhexidine-based mouthwashes if used over a long period of time are associated with discolored teeth.
How do you prevent teeth from being discolored?
Strict oral hygiene practice- this is the simplest yet most effective way to ensure your teeth do not get discolored. It involves regular brushing of teeth ideally after every meal or at minimum at least twice a day, with the recommended toothbrush (medium bristles) & toothpaste(fluoridated) and the appropriate technique (In circular motions rather than horizontal motions). Flossing to remove food particles stuck between teeth.
Cease chewing and smoking tobacco as they discolor teeth.
When using fixed orthodontic appliances e.g., braces a strict oral hygiene accompanied by regular dental visits are necessary to prevent formation of white spots on teeth since it may be a little difficult to clean.
How do you get discolored teeth cleaned?
Visit us to get advice on what is the ideal treatment.
In cases of plaque and tartar accumulation – deep scaling and polishing of teeth . This is a process where the dentist utilizes water ejected by a scaler tip at an ultrasonic speed to remove stubborn stains and dirt around the teeth, this process is followed by running a brush with prophylaxis paste over the teeth just to smoothen the surfaces and thus the teeth are restored to their original colour.
Extrinsic stains resulting from coffee and tea accumulation-scaling and polishing.