Appaloosas, dalmatians, lady bugs,and leopards. What do all of these things have in common? Spots. While cute animals and insects that bring good luck can pull off the spotted look, you probably don’t want your teeth to possess this same characteristic. Teeth discoloration is not uncommon and can vary in color from yellowish-brown to black-brown. The shape of the discoloration can also be diverse, from irregular spots and blotchy patches to fine lines. Brown spots on teeth are caused by a variety of reasons. Lifestyle choices like smoking are preventable while others like aging and genetics are unavoidable. At the very least teeth discoloration is a damper on a person’s confidence who may be painfully aware of their smile’s flaws.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Certain foods and drinks contain high levels of acidity, chromogens, or tannin—chemicals that stain tooth enamel over time. Many of us know that red wine, for example, is a teeth-staining culprit but even light-colored foods and drinks can do damage. Did you know that white wine also causes teeth discoloration? The reason lies in its high level of acidity and the chemical tannin. High acidic levels soften tooth enamel and make teeth susceptible to stains and plaque attacks.
Plaque is a bacterial film that eats away at a tooth’s enamel, causing tooth decay, which is visible as brown or black spots on your teeth. These spots can be treated with attractive tooth-colored fillings.
Other times, brown or black spots on your teeth might be related to high fluoride exposure when your teeth were developing. These serious fluorosis stains are actually defects in your enamel.
Tetracycline exposure can also cause discoloration of the tooth enamel. This is usually more of a graying of the enamel than spots on the enamel, but it varies.
Send Brown Spots Running
While many over-the-counter whitening products can reduce tooth discoloration, these products aren’t a guarantee. What’s more, only a professional cosmetic dentist can restore whiteness and eliminate discoloration caused by tartar or tooth decay. There a couple of different ways that your cosmetic dentist can help restore a white smile.
The simplest method to regain whiteness in a smile is with regular cleanings. Your dental hygienist will scrub away the tartar that has built up on teeth and even take steps to prevent them from further decay by using a fluoride treatment.
The next step is in-office teeth whitening treatment which has more than one advantage. In-office whitening with Dr. Marzban, for example, requires a mere one-hour appointment for immediate brighter results. In-office whiteners are more effective because they can use stronger whitening compounds. Your cosmetic dentist can also adjust the formula to accommodate sensitive teeth.
If your stains are accompanied by cracks, chips or other structural issues, or are caused by water mineralization or medications, porcelain veneers are the best solution. Porcelain veneers are thin facades of advanced, durable material, and are the most flexible solution in cosmetic dentistry. Veneers are strong, can last for decades, and are custom-crafted to match your surrounding natural teeth in hue and translucence. While the transformation is dramatic, it’s not time-intensive. In fact, from consultation to completion, veneers can take as little time as one month to achieve results.
To learn more about the advantages of in-office teeth whitening in Burke, Fairfax, Fairfax Station & other nearby areas, please call 703-323-8200 or contact Dr. Pamela Marzban today for a cosmetic dentistry appointment.