Are you self-conscious about your yellow teeth and looking for the best ways to get rid of them? If so, you’re not alone— studies show more than 55% of people are unhappy with the colour of their teeth.
Fortunately, effective treatments are available for lightening your tooth colour so you can smile brightly.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how professional tooth whitening procedures, over-the-counter treatments, and simple home remedies can help reverse years’ worth of discolouration and give you a set of whiter teeth.
Read on to find out more!
Causes of yellow teeth
Tooth discolouration on the surface of our teeth can cause a tooth to appear yellow or stained. This common dental issue can be caused by many factors, from smoking to poor hygiene to excessive consumption of certain food and drink products. While some causes of tooth discolouration, like genetics or certain medications, may be outside one’s control, other causes are preventable. It is essential to understand what your tooth stains could be caused by so that you can take action to improve your oral health.
Worn out enamel
Enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth, and when it wears away or breaks down, the underlying yellowness of the dentin shows through. This can make teeth appear yellow.
Enamel wears away for various reasons and can get thin enough, so it no longer provides an effective barrier from exposing the dentin below. This erosion also leaves your teeth more prone to stains from foods and beverages that would normally be kept at bay by healthy enamel layers.
Regardless of what causes it, the result of eroded dental enamel is typically a dull yellow hue on the surface of your teeth that may become more pronounced with age.
Besides potentially making you feel self-conscious about your smile, worn-out enamel compromises your dental health by making you vulnerable to cavities and other oral diseases as bacteria slip past weakened defences in search of food particles lodged between your teeth.
Certain medications contain chemicals that can cause discolouration of the teeth over time. This discolouration is mainly caused by surface stains and is observed as a yellowing of the enamel.
The most common type of staining from medication is an intrinsic stain, which penetrates below the surface of the tooth, resulting in a permanent yellowish colour.
Some medications can lead to external discolouration that affects the outer layer of the tooth’s enamel. External stains are usually lighter than those caused by intrinsic staining and are generally easier to remove with proper dental hygiene.
Although not all medications have been linked to tooth discolouration, you need to know that your teeth may become discoloured over time due to drugs you may be taking to treat other conditions.
In addition to being unsightly, teeth stains can indicate poor oral health and unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Drugs, excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking are some of the most common triggers for teeth stains.
The chemicals found in these substances can erode dental enamel, causing discolouration.
Smoking, especially, is known to cause yellowing or browning of the teeth due to the tar and nicotine present in cigarettes. These substances can become embedded into dental tissues, resulting in permanent staining that will not respond to whitening treatments.
Furthermore, alcohol consumption has a drying effect on oral tissues which can lead to more porous enamel and further discolouration. Other lifestyle factors, such as drinking coffee, tea, red wine or other highly pigmented beverages, can also contribute to stained teeth over time.
Genetics can be responsible for yellow teeth in several different ways.
Firstly, the shade of teeth is determined by the thickness of the enamel layer. The amount of enamel present and its quality are largely dictated by genetics.
If you have an unusually thin or weak enamel layer, it may not be able to adequately protect your teeth from staining and discolouration caused by things such as food, drink, smoking, and aging. This could make them more prone to yellowing over time.
Secondly, certain genetic conditions can result in yellow teeth without any external staining agents because the dentin is excessively porous and deeply grooved instead of having a smooth surface as normal dentin does.
This causes light to scatter differently when it hits the tooth surface, which gives them a duller colour than usual.
Finally, you may have an inherited predisposition to accumulate intrinsic stains on your teeth due to metabolic abnormalities or dietary deficiencies which affect your oral health. For example, a particular gene can lead to calcium deposits forming on tooth surfaces, giving them a yellowish-brown hue.
Fluorosis, a condition caused by excessive fluoride intake, can be responsible for yellow teeth as it can cause discolouration of the enamel and even pits in the teeth.
Many foods and water sources are naturally rich in fluoride, but if a person’s exposure to it is higher than normal – either through drinking water or using dietary supplements containing fluoride – the risk for fluorosis increases.
In addition to causing teeth discolouration, fluorosis may also lead to thinning and brittleness of tooth enamel, making it more prone to chipping and cracking.
If you have fluorosis, you may initially notice minor changes in the colour of your teeth from white to yellowish-brown. Over time, however, these changes can become more pronounced as the enamel continues to break down due to excess fluoride buildup.
Not only does this affect the aesthetics of your smile, but it also makes the teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay since they are no longer adequately protected by the weakened enamel layer.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, can be responsible for discoloured teeth.
The constant pressure from grinding can cause the protective enamel of your teeth to wear away, revealing the dentin underneath.
Dentin is naturally yellow, so when the enamel wears away, it leaves teeth looking yellow or discoloured.
Additionally, prolonged bruxism can cause the enamel to crack and chip away, exposing even more dentin and creating an uneven look with shades of yellow or brown. This further contributes to discolouration.
How to get rid of yellow teeth?
Having yellow teeth can be embarrassing and can make you self-conscious when talking to others or even smiling in pictures.
Luckily, many options exist for whitening your teeth and eliminating the yellow colour caused by stains and discolouration.
Professional dental cleaning
Zoom teeth whitening is a professional in-chair whitening system that gets rid of yellow teeth quickly and for a long time.
The Zoom system has two different applications: in-chair and at-home kits.
The in-chair application involves a three-step process in our state-of-the-art dental clinic, which starts with a polishing of the teeth to remove plaque buildup, followed by a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel applied to the teeth to lighten discolouration. Finally, ultraviolet light is used to accelerate the whitening process.
This entire process typically takes around 45 minutes and yields immediate results.
If you are more comfortable whitening your teeth at home, Zoom offers at-home kits containing custom trays and the same hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel used in the in-chair procedure.
At-home kits will require you to apply the gel and trays on your own, leaving them on for two hours twice over two consecutive weeks before you can see results.
Though this method may be more convenient as it can be done during your spare time, it is important to note that using at-home remedies or over-the-counter products may not always deliver desired results as quickly or effectively as an in-chair treatment from a professional dentist does.
Professional teeth whitening services are more effective than home remedies or DIY products and come with fewer risks than these other options.
Professionals have access to higher-grade bleaching agents that are safe for use on enamel, and they know how much of these agents should be used for effective results without damaging your enamel.
Additionally, professional dentists understand tooth sensitivity much better than consumers and can adjust the intensity and duration of whitening treatments accordingly, depending on each patient’s needs.
Professional services for whitening teeth also offer longer-lasting effects compared to at-home products.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening
Over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments are commonly used to get rid of yellow teeth. Whitening strips or whitening toothpaste are two popular methods many people use at home, but they take much longer than professional cleaning, and their results are shorter.
Whitening strips, gels and pens typically contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which helps to break down the organic molecules that cause staining on our teeth.
Similarly, whitening toothpaste contains special abrasives designed to help remove surface stains.
An over-the-counter tooth whitening method will remove debris from the enamel layer of the teeth but won’t penetrate deeper layers and will only provide mild whitening effects.
This method is known to deliver fast results, but it’s important to note that it provides short-term results and can cause some sensitivity in your teeth since it exposes them to higher levels of chemicals.
If you want faster and more long-term results, it’s best to go with a professional whitening service.
Some common kitchen ingredients can help you whiten your teeth as well.
The most popular ones are baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, certain fruits, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.
Activated charcoal, another common household item, can also whiten teeth.
These are just some common kitchen ingredients that can help with tooth bleaching to make teeth whiter and brighter without resorting to expensive cosmetic treatments or store-bought products filled with harsh chemicals.
However, we strongly recommend you visit a qualified dentist for tooth whitening treatment as they have the knowledge to whiten your teeth without damaging them.
Why visit Sydney Dental Group for teeth whitening?
At Sydney Dental Group, we have the advanced tools and expertise to provide fast, effective and safe dental stain removal treatments.
Our team of experienced dental professionals take a personalised approach to each patient, ensuring their treatments are tailored to their individual needs.
We use the latest in teeth whitening technology, and our team also uses special materials to ensure the best results while still being gentle on your teeth.
We understand that not all people feel comfortable going to the dentist for procedures like this, so our friendly and compassionate staff strive to make everyone feel relaxed and well taken care of during their visit.
In addition, we offer competitive rates, so when you book an appointment with us for your teeth whitening needs, you can be assured that you’ll receive fast, effective and safe results with minimal discomfort.
Contact us (02) 9158 6135 to book an appointment with Sydney Dental Group for your teeth whitening needs today!
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