We’ve all been in this scenario before. This is why you ask the cosmetic dental experts. You’re brushing your teeth in the mirror before bed and you get self-conscious about that yellow smile glaring back at you. Of course, because we are our worst critics we amplify the problem, but teeth do indeed get yellow, sometimes a little bit and with some people quite severe.
Have you ever wondered how that happens? Being a specialist in cosmetic dentistry, Houston residents come in asking us the same question all the time. “How did my teeth get like this all of a sudden?” The truth is, it happens gradually in 99% of cases—it’s just easy to overlook because it happens over such a long period of time.
The good news is that yellow teeth aren’t a sign of a serious dental issue but rather just a cosmetic dental issue. In fact, when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, Richmond patients we see, come in for yellow teeth more than any other cosmetic dental procedure. So, while it can be a hit to your self-confidence, fearing you’ve ruined your pearly white smile, in most cases, it’s very possible to get that sparkling white color back.
The first thing you need to do is figure out why your teeth are turning yellow. Sometimes, cosmetic dental issues like these are simple root causes and some of them are a little more complex. Once you know the cause, you know what it takes to correct it.
The Main Causes Of Yellowing Teeth
Sometimes, you just get the short end of the stick in the gene pool—it happens. Yellow teeth can run in the family. If your mom and dad tend to have yellowish teeth, the odds you will have naturally yellow teeth as well.
When seeking color corrective cosmetic dentistry, Houston residents are often surprised to find out that teeth come in other natural colors than just white.
Some teeth are naturally gray, reddish gray, reddish brown, yellow, and reddish yellow. The color variations tend to be within that general spectrum but teeth aren’t always just white.
In many of our cases involving minor cosmetic dentistry, Richmond patients with yellow teeth are often due to variations in dentin visibility.
Dentin is a yellowish or brownish colored tissue that is located beneath the enamel. Often when the enamel on a tooth thins out for whatever reason, the dentin shows through and that yellowish or brownish color comes through.
This one is pretty inevitable. You are going to get older, we all are—and as you age your teeth will begin to lose enamel due to wear and tear. Acids in food and drinks you consume plus the mechanics of chewing food naturally thin out the enamel over time. As mentioned before, this allows dentin to show through more prominently.
Nicotine, one of the most dominant ingredients in tobacco products, specifically cigarettes—damages your lungs and causes cancer among a host of other diseases. It also leaves a very stubborn yellow-brown discoloration on your teeth that can be very hard to remove—especially for heavy smokers.
There’s a lot of foods that will stain your teeth. Berries, certain spices like chili powder, and vegetables like spinach and tomatoes can call stain your teeth over time. The pigments in these foods cling on to the enamel and stains it, leaving your teeth looking discolored.
Antibiotics And Other Medications
If you’ve ever been prescribed antibiotics like Cipro, Doxycycline, or Tetracycline, and other antibiotics, you may have noticed stains on your teeth during the course of taking them. Even medications like antihistamines, Lisinopril, Lexapro, and Seroquel can stain teeth as well.
It can even affect young children and even infants still in the womb as well. The National Institute of Health has done research that concludes if antibiotics such as Doxycycline are taken during the second half of pregnancy or before age eight, it could permanently cause their teeth to be stained and it would require cosmetic dental bleaching to correct.
We’re not going to debate the fact the fluoride can be good for your teeth, but with anything in life and diet—moderation is the key. Too much exposure to fluoride can cause a condition referred to as fluorosis. This condition leaves teeth brown or yellow and comes from over-consumption of the main sources of fluoride—water treated with fluoride, toothpaste, and fluoride water tablets.
Dental trauma that damages the teeth can actually fracture off tooth enamel and damage the interior layers of the teeth which can cause a discoloration that might be a sign of bleeding. This condition would need professional treatment by a dentist to correct.
Bruxism is just a dental term for the act of teeth grinding. It is a habit people develop mainly due to stress overload and usually happens during sleep. It can weaken enamel until it cracks and begins to turn yellowish in color.
3 Popular Natural Cosmetic Dental Treatments For Yellow Teeth
If you have minor yellowing of the teeth, a natural remedy might be a very viable and healthy option for you to consider. You can experiment with some treatments or combine treatments to see which one works best for your situation.
Brushing Your Teeth
This seems like an obvious solution, and it is—but what’s not as obvious is when to brush your teeth and how.
It’s very important that you brush your teeth after you eat food or consume drinks that contribute to staining teeth. Brushing twice a day for two or three minutes at the very least and using an ultrasonic toothbrush would be the ideal brushing routine. Even if you don’t have an ultrasonic toothbrush just make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies and use a circular motion when brushing.
Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda Paste
A simple paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is a great multitasker for oral hygiene. Not only does it help remove stains, but also bacteria and even plaque.
All it requires is mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide into a paste and brushing for three minutes. Make sure to rinse with water when done and you can repeat that daily.
A study in 2012 revealed that people that used this paste were able to remove minor stains and left their teeth white over a six week period. While more conclusive studies are needed to show if the results are long term or not, in the interim it seems like a viable option for now.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Using coconut oil top draw out plaque and bacteria from the mouth to leave teeth whiter, goes back a very long time but has trended over the last decade. There are some recent studies that concluded coconut oil pulling works to whiten teeth and more.
Simply use like a mouthwash, 1 or 2 teaspoons of organic liquid coconut oil (no additives) in your mouth for about 15-30 minutes without swallowing. Spit the oil out when done and rinse with a glass of water before brushing your teeth as the last step.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments For Yellow Teeth
When the stains on your teeth are a bit more severe than natural treatments can handle, over the counter or professional cosmetic dental solutions may be needed to correct any discoloration.
- Whitening strips
- Bondings and veneers
- Over-the-counter teeth whitening agents
- In-Office or In-home whitening treatments from Best Dental
- At-home teeth whitening kits with UV LED lights
Let Best Cosmetic Dental Bring Back Your White Smile
If you’re tired of yellowed teeth, you’ve tried all the over-the-counter solutions, and you’ve just given up on gaining that bright white smile again—don’t give up, get up and contact Dr. Naderi at Best Dental today. We can find out the root cause of your stained teeth, develop a plan of treatment and then show you the results often within a single office visit depending on the treatment!