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Discolored Teeth: A Common Issue Treated By a Kirkland, WA Dentist

In a society that considers white teeth a definite criteria for looking good, having yellow teeth is a curse—one that can only be lifted with the help of a trusted dentist in Kirkland, WA and elsewhere.

There are two major causes for teeth discoloration: foods and drinks that stain, and the acids in certain ones that eat away at the teeth’s enamel coating. Tooth enamel is naturally white at its thickest point, but once it wears down, teeth get yellower/darker since the innermost layer of dentin is exposed. This dentin layer of the teeth is naturally yellowish in color, so the thinner your enamel gets, the yellower your teeth will look.


There are two major types of discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Both classifications are what their names say about them: extrinsic discoloration occurs on the outer layer of the enamel, while intrinsic discoloration is the complete reverse: it occurs in the dentin, which is prone to darkening to a shade of yellow or gray tint.

Of all the most common teeth discoloration culprits, tobacco use always seems to take the cake. Smoking or chewing tobacco tends to leave stains that are extremely tough to remove (despite being extrinsic), as well as dark-colored beverages like coffee, red wine, black tea, and soda. Foods like apples and potatoes do the same.

Certain medications also contribute to teeth discoloration. For instance, consuming antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline have been known to cause discoloration in youngsters’ teeth, as well as fluoride. Fluoride discoloration is also known as fluorosis, which can take the following forms: lackluster, chalky-white patches or streaks across the surface of the teeth with mild cases; yellow or even brown stains for moderate instances, and even malformation of the teeth in severe cases.

Age can also cause discoloration. This is because aging naturally wears down tooth enamel. The thinner the enamel, the more visible the dentin inside gets. Over time, the color of the dentin inside the teeth is also bound to change. It often becomes darker as we age as more of it is recreated during natural repair processes, helping it show through the thinner enamel better. The last and arguably most prominent reason is poor oral hygiene, since infrequent brushing and flossing can cause the stains to build up on your teeth.

Fortunately, all is not lost. If you’ve never had teeth whitening before, you’re better off visiting a skilled dentist in Kirkland like Louis K. Cheung, DDS for your needs Trust the job to the professionals and a whiter smile will soon be in reach.

(Source: What Causes Yellow Teeth And What To Do About It,, April 14, 2013)

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