While most people don't want teeth that are so white they look unnatural, the majority do want to have a nice, bright smile and feel confident when they flash it. Unfortunately, lifestyle and dietary habits, medications, age, environmental factors, disease, and your genes can all affect how white your teeth are.
Everyone knows smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco isn't good for your health. This habit also isn't good for your teeth. Chewing tobacco can severely discolor your teeth, turning them an unpleasant brown. The acidic toxins in the tobacco stay tucked inside your lower lip and lay against your teeth and gums all day. This will eventually break down the enamel. Cigarette smoking turns your teeth yellow, just like it does your fingernails or the walls of your home. Tobacco usage can also lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, which will most likely eventually mean the loss of teeth.
Genetics And Disease
Just like people are born with different hair colors and hair types, with some straight, some curly, some fine, and some thick, teeth are the same way. They can be good and strong and white, with thick enamel, or they can be delicate and fine and gray, with thin enamel. It's just a luck of the draw. Pregnancy can also take a toll on the teeth's enamel. Disease plays a role in teeth whiteness and health, too. Some medical conditions adversely affect the teeth, as can some of the treatment methods, such as chemotherapy for cancer.
Some antibiotics, especially older ones, such as tetracycline, which was often given to children in the past when they had bacterial infections, can permanently discolor teeth. Even if a child took it when they had their baby teeth, it unfortunately still stained their adult teeth. Medications for hypertension and schizophrenia or other mental illnesses can also cause discoloration.
Not only do the teeth become worn and the enamel thinner over the years, which can cause yellowing, but normal foods, like blueberries, and beverages, especially coffee, tea, and wine, will cause stains.
What Can Be Done For Yellowed Or Stained Teeth?
The treatment option your dentist chooses depends on the reasons your teeth aren't as white as you would like them to be. For mild cases, teeth bleaching may suffice. For thinning enamel and stains, such as though from tetracycline, cosmetic veneers may be your best option as you can both strengthen your enamel and choose a brighter, whiter color.