The Deeper Connection of Dental Health and Tooth Color

September 8, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dpmgeneralteam @ 8:29 pm
A woman with good dental health laughing in a cafe

Since the early 90s, society has been bombarded with ads for teeth whitening products that made white teeth and good oral health synonymous. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting a brighter smile for appearance purposes, it’s a mistake to think that teeth whitening can make up for poor oral hygiene.

Continue reading to find the nuances of tooth color and oral health, and ways that you can achieve a better smile.

What Color Are Teeth Supposed to Be?

Just like everyone is born with a different body and a different skin tone, the color of a person’s healthy teeth varies. In general, natural, healthy teeth are a shade of off-white.

Your teeth are actually comprised of three layers. The first two make up the bulk of the color. Enamel is the outer layer of the tooth and naturally has a blue-white sheen.

The thick layer beneath the enamel that makes up the bulk of a tooth is called dentin and it has a yellow coloration.

If your enamel is thick, your teeth will naturally be whiter because the dentin doesn’t show through as much.

Why Do Teeth Turn Different Colors?

There are several reasons why your teeth turn yellow or other colors like brown or blue.

Age – Your enamel will naturally thin as you grow older, leading to more of your dentin’s natural yellow color showing through.

Tannins – Dark-colored foods and beverages like coffee, wine, dark chocolate, and berries all have stain-causing tannins that stick to teeth.

Smoking – Tobacco, either smoked or chewed, contains chemicals that will both stain your teeth and wear away at the enamel—making cigarettes and other tobacco products a double whammy for stains.

Medications – Some medications have the unfortunate side effect of staining teeth. This includes some antibiotics and cancer-treating drugs.

Over-Abundance of Fluoride – Excessive amounts of fluoride can cause brown staining on teeth.

Should I Not Whiten My Teeth?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with whitening your teeth as long as your reasons for doing so are aesthetic. If you have cavities, chipped or cracked teeth, gum disease, or some other oral health problems, whitening your teeth won’t make them better.

In some cases, teeth whitening treatments can make these problems worse. For a brief time after a whitening treatment, your enamel will be slightly weaker making your teeth more sensitive. If you have cavities or other decay present, this can cause a great deal of discomfort.

If you want to whiten your teeth, visit your dentist first. Not only can they diagnose any problems that might get in the way of your treatment, but they can also offer faster teeth whitening with safer products and better results. Whiter teeth aren’t necessarily healthier teeth, but they can certainly be both with a bit of care and effort.

About the Practice

At D’Andrea and Pantera Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, your dental health is their priority. They understand the importance of a confident smile and offer a wide range of services to ensure your oral health. Their dedicated team of professionals strives to provide exceptional care, whether it’s preventive, cosmetic, or restorative. To schedule a teeth whitening treatment, call (203) 288-0951 or visit the website to explore other services.

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