Why Teeth Discolor As You Age

When children first get their teeth, they are white and bright, but this does not stay forever. As a person ages, his or her teeth will slowly become yellow and discolored, and this tends to be a common and normal part of aging. If you have teeth that are discolored, it is probably due to one or more of the following reasons.

Enamel erosion

Enamel erosion is what happens to your teeth when the enamel wears off. Enamel is a material that is strong and protective, but it does not last forever and will never replenish itself. When it wears off, it allows the inner parts of your teeth to be noticeable, and these parts are yellow in color, whereas enamel is white. If your teeth are discolored, it could be due to this problem. Enamel erosion can occur from brushing your teeth too hard, using abrasive solutions to clean your teeth, grinding your teeth, and much more.

Microcracks in teeth

Discoloration of teeth also occurs from aging, simply because as you age your teeth will develop microcracks in them. These cracks are so small that you cannot see them, but they are big enough to absorb stains. When you eat foods and drinks that stain your teeth, and if your teeth have microcracks in them, you will notice staining on your teeth. It is hard to prevent this from happening without addressing the microcracks.

Tobacco use

For anyone who uses tobacco, staining of teeth occurs even faster. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco will stain teeth quickly, and there is really no way to avoid this, other than to stop using tobacco products.

Poor hygiene

The other main cause of discoloration of the teeth is poor hygiene. Teeth require care, which includes brushing and flossing, and it also includes visiting a dentist for deep cleanings. If you do not provide the care your teeth need, they will begin to lose their luster and will start turning yellow and discolored. This happens because plaque attaches to teeth, and plaque is not white. Plaque is sticky and contains bacteria, and it can cause cavities when you fail to remove it. Brushing and flossing helps remove it, but visits to the dentist for cleanings are also necessary for removing the plaque.

If your teeth do not look white and bright anymore, it might be time to visit a dentist like Clendenon Kirby DDS to find out if your teeth need work or to find out if teeth whitening services could help.