Over the years, your teeth take a lot of damage. The foods we eat can stain them, and we are constantly exposing them to various materials that can cause damage to your enamel.
Tobacco use is another major cause of tooth discoloration, or drinking coffee or red wine. Or you could be lacking certain vitamins, causing splotches, or places that appear translucent.
Over the course of a lifetime, it can be difficult to maintain a bright, clear smile. Today, your Bedford, MA dentist explains some common sources of tooth discoloration and how to best protect your smile, both inside and out!
What Causes Stains?
There are many different ways you can stain the surface of your teeth. The most common are found in the foods we eat. Everyone gets hungry, right?
Popular foods that are particularly dangerous are things such as tomatoes, black pepper, and beets. Take particular care of your teeth if you consume these things regularly.
And our beverages are also harmful to our enamel. Red wine and coffee are the two most potent staining beverages that Americans regularly consume. If you are an aficionado of those things, it might be beneficial for you to take special care of the color of your smile.
Speaking of aficionados, if you like to smoke a cigar, or use tobacco of any sort, you can cause damage to your teeth. Smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco, dip, or snus can be particularly harmful to the gum.
Vitamin Deficiency Can Cause Discoloration
If your body is lacking in certain nutrients, it can leech the material from your teeth, leading to weakened teeth in both appearance and structure.
Calcium deficiency can cause the tooth to be weakened, yellow, and brittle. American diets do not typically lead to a lack of this mineral, but people with certain metabolic disorders may not absorb it regularly into the body.
B12 deficiency can happen, especially in patients with vegetarian diets. This can cause an irritation of the gums, and the buildup of plaque. Sometimes geographic tongue, where the tongue sheds taste buds in areas on the tongue, occurs. This can also cause you to be weak and tired.
Vitamin D is another material that can cause serious issues with your smile. This vitamin facilitates the absorption of calcium into the body. With the calcium blocked, the teeth become brittle and yellowed. A very common condition in the United States, this can be helped by consuming more fish and dairy into your diet.
Particularly interesting about Vitamin D is that it requires sunlight to become active within the body. So often, people who spend a lot of time in the dark, such as those who work overnight, can have a problem maintaining proper levels.
If you do not encounter enough sunlight, UV lights are available, and can also help improve your mood during winter months. Or any other period of time when you are unable to receive sunlight.
So How Do I Protect My Smile?
It is always important to maintain a proper home oral health regimen. This includes twice-daily brushing, and brushing the whole mouth. This includes the roof of the mouth, under the tongue, the entirety of the mouth. Daily flossing and an oral rinse are also suggested. And make sure to see your dentist regularly to have cleanings and exams.
About Dr. Kennedy:
Robert M. Kennedy, DDS, and the caring, compassionate staff at Kennedy Family & Cosmetic Dentistry have served the Bedford, Ma area and surrounding communities since 1992. To learn more about the services we offer to protect, restore, and improve your family’s smiles, contact us today by calling (781) 275-0200, or by visiting our Bedford, MA dental office as soon as possible.