Everyone wants to have a smile that reveals pearly white teeth. Unfortunately, at least 50% of population has stained teeth. Discoloration of teeth is not a new problem; it also prevailed in ancient times. People used to mask it with natural and rudimentary methods that were at their disposal during that period. The only difference in modern day is, treating tooth discoloration has become a highly sophisticated branch, with lot of innovative techniques. At the same time the treatment has become costlier.
Discoloration of teeth can occur due to stains on the surface of teeth or changes in the inside material of the tooth.
What Causes Discoloration Of Teeth?
The cause of teeth discoloration according to dentists and oral health care practitioners is categorized into three classes. The extrinsic factors, the intrinsic cause and age related teeth discoloration.
Extrinsic cause: The outer layer of teeth is called enamel. Variety of reasons can stain the enamel. For example certain type of foods, coffee, tea, colas, wines etc. Cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco is also an important factor in staining the teeth.
Intrinsic cause: dentin is inner material of teeth. When it is affected, the color changes to dark yellow or brown. Under certain circumstances the dentin can become discolored, these include;
- Excessive exposure of fluoride, especially during childhood. High fluoride content in water or excessive use of fluoride toothpaste and rinses.
- Use of certain medicines such as tetracycline during childhood.
- Mother using tetracycline medicine during pregnancy, which can lead to stained teeth in her child.
- Trauma or an injury to the teeth.
Discoloration due to growing age: as you age, the enamel becomes thin. As a result the dentin which is naturally mild yellow becomes more obvious and the teeth appear discolored, yellow or brown.
Material used in dentistry such as amalgam can stain the teeth.
Lastly poor dental hygiene, improper brushing and flossing can be a cause for teeth discoloration.
Natural Home Remedies For Discolored Teeth
Though there are innumerable over the counter teeth whitening agents, costly veneers and bonding methods available in modern science for treating discoloration of teeth, age old home remedies and natural ways are as effective. Besides they are economical and do not need any specialized techniques.
- Baking soda: prepare a paste of baking soda by mixing it with small amount of water and salt. Use this paste to clean the teeth.
- Take few strawberries and grind them into homogeneous pulp. Now apply the pulp on stained teeth and let it remain for 15 minutes. The same is possible with orange. You can also include them in your regular diet. Strawberry and oranges have ingredients that can lighten teeth discoloration.
- Eat foods and vegetables that help in dissolving the molecules responsible for teeth staining. Vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, broccoli, are effective in it.
- Brush your teeth two times in a day, use proper technique while brushing the teeth.
- After brushing, use floss to remove the left over particles that may be responsible for discoloration.
- Salt: it is the best natural remedy for lightening stained teeth. Rub your teeth with salt once in a day when you have stained teeth.