Have you been wondering why your teeth are yellowing as you are getting older?
We should all feel confident in our smiles, right? So, it’s important to learn how to help fight the progression of discolouration as we age.
Firstly, our teeth are not naturally “white” as most people assume they should be. The natural colour of teeth can vary among individuals and is typically white-gray to a light yellow. Teeth may even be a bit more yellow and even lean towards a light brown despite good dental hygiene and the absence of tooth-related problems.
Enamel, a mineralized substance that covers the outer layer of each tooth is the hardest substance in the body. Over time it faces a lot of stress while trying to protect the teeth. The enamel shields all layers of the teeth making it extremely important when it comes to protecting oral health. Because it doesn’t contain living cells, your body can’t grow it back once it’s been destroyed and it can’t be repaired.
Discolouration and yellowing of your teeth may be due to a number of reasons. The most common causes are from:
👉Tobacco use which would include cigarette smoking & chewing tobacco
👉Inadequate or infrequent homecare resulting in poor oral hygiene. With the elderly, this can be a significant factor. Those who may not have the physical ability to maintain good dental hygiene or have cognitive impairment where they forget to take care of their teeth can be a concern.
👉Consuming foods & drinks including coffee, tea, certain alcoholic beverages like wine, sodas especially cola, and other foods that can stain the teeth. These can have “harsh” chemicals that can affect the enamel.
👉Age-related erosion of the enamel, revealing the natural yellow colour which lies beneath, called dentin. This layer also yellows naturally with age.
Other factors might include⬇️
👉Genetics, which also contribute to your tooth colour and maybe the reason some people naturally have a more yellow tooth colour than others.
👉Drugs such as antihistamines, antipsychotics and certain medications for treating high blood pressure.
👉Mouthwashes that are used for the prevention of dental problems that contain certain substances.
👉Chemotherapy & radiation therapy.
➡️ Known as pathological causes, injury to the teeth & dental problems may lead to yellowing of the teeth as well.
🦷 Injury to the tooth enamel with trauma, including hard brushing on a daily basis.
🦷 Eating disorders (vomiting in particular) & nutritional deficiencies due to poor dietary habits.
🦷 Repeated & extensive tooth cavities.
🦷 Various metabolic & systemic diseases that may directly or indirectly impact on the health of the teeth & the tooth colour.
We can slow the thinning process of the enamel with proper oral care and the right diet choices. Beginning as early as possible, try avoiding acidic foods and drinks, or only consume them at mealtimes. Limiting these destructive foods and beverages is a more practical alternative to protecting your enamel. Additionally, take proper care of your teeth. Brush twice and floss once a day, and visit the dentist as often as necessary.
Aside from prevention, we can also fight yellowing teeth with whitening treatments. There are professional procedures available at our office. Speak with one of our team for more information!