Do you want to address yellow, discolored, or darkened teeth? Dr. Elizabeth Duling provides professional teeth whitening treatment to Owens Cross Roads, AL patients. Her teeth whitening treatment is custom-made for each patient. Dr. Duling always considers each patient’s cosmetic goals before their care so they can receive the best results.
Whitening the tooth enamel can motivate patients to care for their smiles and improve their oral health. Cosmetic dental treatments both enhance the look of the teeth and gums and can become a motivating factor to maintain brilliant results.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Tooth discoloration has many different causes. Patients may experience a combination of multiple types of discoloration. We have to work to determine the type and causes of staining to ensure we provide the correct treatment for your needs. As with all cosmetic procedures, we’ll schedule a consultation before treatment. With discussion and examination, we determine the best treatment course to take.
Tooth discoloration is something everything experiences as we age. The bright white outer layer on our teeth, the enamel, wears down over the years. This exposes the off-white layer underneath, called dentin. Dentin is yellow, causing your teeth to look more yellow as you age. Age discoloration isn’t harmful to your smile, but it’s something that you may be self-conscious of.
One of the most common discoloration causes is the food and drink you consume. Dark-colored foods like red wine, coffee, blackberries, and strawberries can all stain your teeth over time. Certain acidic foods like oranges may also stain your teeth. The more you consume these things, the more staining you experience.
Some medications can stain your teeth, too. This is particularly true if you’ve taken certain medicines as a child and are still growing and changing. Pregnant women are susceptible as well. Trauma can harm the dental pulp and blood vessels inside your tooth. A “dead” tooth doesn’t have blood flow throughout the tooth anymore. Dead teeth are usually gray in color.
Lifestyle habits like tobacco use can cause yellow and brown stains on your teeth. The tar in tobacco darkens the teeth, and many of the chemicals in cigarettes harm oral health. Using tobacco products increases your chances of oral cancer and gum disease, among other things.
Other harmful stains develop if you don’t properly manage your oral hygiene. Plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, causing yellow — and eventually brown — stains on your teeth. If you continue to neglect your oral hygiene, the stains can start to darken and turn brown. When you have this kind of discoloration, you’re also putting the stability of your smile at risk. It makes you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Dr. Duling offers convenient treatment with customized teeth whitening kits. These kits contain custom whitening trays and whitening gel. To create the whitening trays, Dr. Duling will take digital impressions of the teeth and work with a local dental lab to create the trays.
To use take-home whitening trays, you must first brush your teeth. Then, apply a small amount of whitening gel in each tray compartment. The trays keep the saliva from contacting the gel, which can interfere with active ingredients within the bleaching agents. In addition, the trays allow each tooth to receive the correct amount of gel continuously.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Stains
Extrinsic tooth stains appear on the surface of your teeth. Intrinsic stains are found within the tooth enamel. Although over-the-counter toothpaste or whitening treatments can remove some extrinsic stains, professional teeth whitening can remove both types. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove because they are caused by certain medications, injuries, or overexposure to fluoride.
However, some stains may be stubborn and not respond to traditional whitening treatment. This is why it’s important to have a cosmetic consultation before committing to treatment. Dr. Duling will do a full oral exam and analysis to ensure teeth whitening is ideal for you. If she determines that traditional whitening methods may not work, she’ll review other options that might be better suited for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental services, as everyone experiences tooth discoloration. Learn more about the process by reading the answers to these frequently asked questions.
What is the difference between store-bought and professional teeth whitening?
A dental professional administers professional teeth whitening. This means it is safer and will be applied correctly. Additionally, professional whitening has a higher concentration of whitening agents. It will whiten your teeth faster and better. The only downside is it is more expensive.
How do I maintain the whitening results?
We suggest visiting our dental office for regular checkups every six months. This will allow us to clean and polish your teeth which will help them remain whiter longer. Furthermore, you should avoid foods and beverages that can stain your teeth. This includes tea, coffee, red wine, fruit juices, soda, berries, tomato sauces, and soy sauce. If you do consume these items, it is suggested that your brush your teeth afterward or at the least rinse with water.
Smoking also contributes to stained teeth and quickly diminishes your whitening results.
Is tooth sensitivity normal after whitening treatment?
Some tooth sensitivity to hot and cold is normal after a tooth whitening treatment. However, it is only temporary and should subside after about two days. We suggest using a tooth sensitivity toothpaste for a few days after your whitening appointment.
Brighten Your Smile Today
Do you want to try professional teeth whitening? Call our Owens Cross Roads dental office at 256.202.4186. You can also schedule an appointment with Dr. Duling on our website. We will be happy to answer any remaining questions about take-home teeth whitening.