Tooth discoloration is a common dental concern we treat in our office. Many of our patients suffer from low self-esteem because of tooth stains. Cosmetic problems like tooth discoloration can keep you from smiling or speaking out of embarrassment. People may develop discolored, yellow, or stained teeth for many reasons. Thankfully, Dr. Elizabeth Duling offers several treatments for discolored teeth in Owens Cross Roads, AL.
Why Do I Have Discolored Teeth?
Dr. Duling aims to help patients achieve a brighter smile with teeth whitening treatment. Knowing the cause of tooth discoloration can allow Dr. Duling to find the best treatment to brighten your teeth. It’s rare to have completely white, bright teeth naturally. There are several reasons people develop dull, yellow teeth:
- Poor Oral Hygiene Habits: If you fail to care for your teeth, it can easily cause them to discolor, stain, and decay. Teeth should be brushed and flossed every day. You must also visit your Owens Cross Roads, AL, dentist’s office twice yearly for a cleaning that will help remove tough stains.
- Certain Foods and Drinks: Some certain foods and drinks can cause your teeth to stain easily. Constantly consuming them will darken your teeth over time. We recommend cutting back on these items or eliminating them. This includes tea, wine, coffee, dark red berries, and tomato-based sauces.
- Smoking and other Tobacco Products: Using tobacco of any kind is a bad habit. Tobacco products are terrible for your health and negatively affect the appearance and health of your teeth. The nicotine and tar in tobacco can make teeth appear yellow.
While these are the most common reasons people suffer from stained teeth, there are other causes. Certain medications and types of diseases can also stain your teeth. Over time, you may notice your teeth discolor due to medical problems or natural wear.
Types of Tooth Stains
Tooth stains are intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic tooth stains occur when tooth stains penetrate the outer tooth enamel. Extrinsic tooth stains stay on the tooth’s surface. Tooth discoloration from problems like tooth damage will not react to whitening treatment. Alternatively, whitening is best for stains in the outer layer of the tooth.
We will consider the type of tooth stain you have before we recommend treatment. Our office will also consider problems like tooth sensitivity to ensure the whitening treatment is as comfortable as possible.
Treating Discolored Teeth in Owens Cross Roads, AL
No matter the cause of your tooth discoloration, we offer a treatment to fix the issue. When you visit our Owens Cross Roads, AL, dentist’s office, Dr. Duling will examine your smile to determine which treatment option is best for you.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Having your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist is an affordable way to brighten your smile. Dr. Duling offers a take-home teeth whitening kit that will deliver superior results compared to store-bought products. It involves placing whitening gel in a tray and placing it on your teeth for a certain amount of time.
Dr. Duling will provide specific instructions on how long you should wear your whitening trays daily. Each patient is unique and will require different treatment times for the best results. On average, you can see results from take-home teeth whitening in about a week.
Teeth bonding is another affordable method to hide stains if your teeth do not respond to professional teeth whitening. This method is not permanent. However, it will produce great results. Dental bonding uses a composite material that your dentist will place over a tooth and shape by hand. The tooth-colored bonding material will hide tooth imperfections, including discoloration.
You can choose porcelain veneers if you want a more permanent solution to cover discolored teeth. Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain that your dentist will bond to the front of your teeth. Veneers can hide stains and discoloration in the front of the mouth.
This solution requires removing a small amount of your tooth’s surface to create room for the veneers. For this reason, they are considered permanent. We recommend veneers if deep tooth stains do not react to whitening treatment.
Crowns are dental restorations. A dental crown is a cap that completely covers single teeth. If you have tooth wear and discoloration, we will recommend crowns. Like veneers and dental bonding, we color-match dental crowns so they match other teeth in your mouth. Crowns add structure to damaged or worn teeth and can change tooth color.
Why Is Store-Bought Teeth Whitening Ineffective?
Store-bought teeth whitening treatments may be your first choice to whiten your teeth. While buying these treatments is convenient, they do not deliver results. Over-the-counter whitening gels, toothpaste, and strips are less effective than professional treatments. Many people waste time and money on whitening products with less concentrated formulas than professional whitening.
Professional teeth whitening treatment uses whitening gels with active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide. These active ingredients penetrate the tooth enamel to help lift stains. Veneers, tooth bonding, or dental crowns are effective for sensitive teeth or tooth damage. These alternatives provide effective and lasting treatment. Professional whitening makes it simple for patients to brighten one or more teeth.
Which Tooth Discoloration Treatment is Best for Me?
The right treatment for you depends on your discoloration type and desired results. Professional teeth whitening is an excellent option if you have healthy teeth and gums but want a brighter smile. Tough stains may not respond to teeth whitening. In this case, your dentist will recommend veneers, bonding, or crowns.
If you desire a complete smile makeover that includes more than simply whitening your teeth, porcelain veneers would be the way to go. Veneers also can cover small tooth gaps, slightly crooked teeth, and other problems. This option will also deliver the longest-lasting results.
Brighten Your Teeth
Erase years of tooth stains with teeth whitening. Call 256.202.4186 to treat discolored teeth in Owens Cross Roads, AL. You can also schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Duling online. If you have questions about which whitening treatment is right for you, please let us know at your next visit.