The different types of discoloured teeth

If there's one thing that can ruin an otherwise perfect smile, it's discoloured teeth. Even if your not-so-pearly whites are perfectly aligned and free of any chips, a yellow sheen to them can give off a decidedly negative appearance.

It's not always as simple as brushing regularly though, there are actually quite a few different reasons why one or more teeth can lose their polished gleam, and in this article we'll explore the two main categories of discolouration – extrinsic and intrinsic. 

Coffee is a common culprit when it comes to stained teeth. Coffee is a common culprit when it comes to stained teeth.

Extrinsic discolouration

This is the category that you'd most commonly associate with yellowed teeth, and it broadly falls under the umbrella of 'stains.' In fact, when thinking about the different substances that might stain your teeth, it can be useful to think about your smile in the same way you would a carpet. What are the spills that are going to be hardest to remove? If you're imagining red wine, coffee or soft drinks, then you're spot on with the food and drink that can discolour your smile. 

Of course the best way to avoid extrinsic discolouration is to limit intake of these products, or at least to brush thoroughly if you've been eating or drinking anything with the potential to leave a mark. That's easier said than done though, and if you simply can't stay away from the merlot, then you might want to consider getting your teeth professional bleached. It's quick, easy and means you don't have to worry too much about that morning coffee. 

As we age our teeth typically become a bit darker, as dentine naturally starts to show through a thinning layer of enamel.

Intrinsic discolouration

Not all yellow teeth are caused by what you eat or drink, and in fact there are actually some factors that may be beyond your control. For example, as we age our teeth typically become a bit darker, as dentine  naturally starts to show through a thinning layer of enamel. 

Similarly, there are plenty of other factors that can affect tooth colour, ranging from fluoride exposure at an early age all the way through to tooth trauma. In these cases, it's best to consult your dentist to find out what the issue is, and what the best way is to correct your smile's aesthetics. In most cases, options like bleaching or a dental veneer can work well, but a professional will be able to tell you for certain. 

If you have any concerns about the colour of your teeth, get in touch with City Dentists today.