Even those of us who take excellent care of our oral health over a long period of time are susceptible to some level of teeth staining and discoloration. The fact is that numerous factors contribute to a yellowing or stained appearance on our teeth, some of which are in our control and some of which are not. 


The typical causes of teeth staining include: 


The natural aging process. As we get older, the teeth tend to develop a yellowish tinge. This can be due to external stains that accumulate from lifestyle habits, as well as thinning of surface enamel that occurs over time. As the enamel wears down, it gradually exposes the internal dentin (which is often naturally yellow or blue-gray). 


Food and beverages. Consistent consumption of certain foods and beverages over the years can stain or discolor the surface of the teeth, and may even begin to affect deeper layers. Foods and beverages with high levels of sugar are often the biggest culprits. Some of the more prominent examples of teeth staining items include blueberries, blackberries, beets, red sauce, soy sauce, red wine, soda, coffee, and tea. 


Tobacco products. Individuals who smoke or chew tobacco products tend to show higher levels of staining and discoloration. The ingredients in these products can cause the teeth to become yellow rather quickly, and even develop into a dark brown color. 


Poor oral hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing routines can result in the accumulation of bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Over time, this can not only lead to gum disease, but also to more rapid teeth discoloration and compromised enamel, among many other serious dental concerns. 


These are just a few of the more common causes of teeth staining. Certain types of medication and even highly-abrasive toothpastes can contribute to the condition. 


Fortunately, our dentists in Salisbury offer effective treatment options that can give the teeth a whiter, brighter, and healthier appearance. Professional teeth whitening treatment can be a good option for patients with mild to moderate discoloration who would like to lighten the teeth by several shades. For teeth that are affected by deep and dark stains, porcelain veneers may be the ideal solution. These dental restorations are custom-designed for the best fit and appearance. Porcelain veneers are securely placed over the teeth to mask the stains and give the teeth a healthier look. Additionally, they are stain-resistant, so you will never have to worry about them changing color in the ensuing years. 


If you would like to learn more about how you can successfully improve the appearance of your smile, please don’t hesitate to contact Delmarva Dental Services today!