Tooth discolouration (also termed tooth staining) is abnormal tooth colour. Tooth discolouration can be the cause of great embarrassment and can make people feel self -conscious about smiling. According to reports, it could cause mouth odour which could affect a person psychologically, because he or she loses self-confidence in public.
No one’s teeth are perfectly white and to some extent our teeth will become a bit duller as we age, studies have revealed. But depending on your genetic makeup, everyone is born with a slightly different tooth shade, with some faring better than others.
Unfortunately, for those who suffer from teeth discolouration, teeth can appear yellow, brown or even grayish in colour. Some may have overall discolouration while others have dark spots on their teeth.
Your teeth may be discoloured for many reasons. Studies have shown that discolouration could occur as a result of drinking water with high concentration of fluorine in it. If a child grows up in that sort of environment, he or she is bound to end up with discolouration in the teeth.
Until recently, tooth discolouration was believed to be an identity of certain ethnic groups or communities in Nigeria. Those born and reared locally within such communities had stained teeth. It was sooner discovered that dental discolouration extended beyond tribal or communal barrier. From investigations one of the causes of such shortcomings is the local water sources reported to have high concentrations of fluoride, a chemical believed to corrode teeth and coat their enamel. These shortcomings can be found in Arusha, Tanzania as well.
Dentists divide discolouration into extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains are known as surface stains. These are caused when outside elements affect the surface of the tooth. Intrinsic stains result when the interior sections of the tooth have darkened.
For all those with discoloured tooth, the good news is that you can prevent many of these stains.
How can I prevent tooth discolouration?
According to dentists, tooth discolouration can be prevented by making a few simple lifestyle changes. For example, if you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting all together.
Having a good dental hygiene routine can prevent extrinsic tooth discolouration. This includes brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing and using a mouthwash daily.
Also, seeing a dental hygienist every six months for a professional clean will also assist in the removal of stains.