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Discolored Teeth

Doctor's Terms

  • Enamel: the hard, outermost surface of teeth.
  • Dentin: the inner layer of the tooth. Because the enamel, or tooth's exterior, is somewhat transparent, drastically discolored dentin can darken teeth.

Information And Treatment

Poor diet and hygiene can leave the outer, visible layer of the tooth, known as enamel, yellow, brownish, or off-white. Anyway you color the situation, it's not a pretty look.

For those with stain-prone teeth, it may seem obvious to steer clear of coffee, tea, soda, wine, and tobacco, but did you know that even produce can tarnish your smile? Blueberries, for example, can tint your teeth as surely as a glass of Merlot.

There are other factors that darken teeth from the inside out, including hereditary diseases, high fluoride levels, and medications like antihistamines, blood pressure prescriptions, and antipsychotic drugs.

Age range: People of all ages suffer from discolored teeth. Adult teeth become discolored with age because tooth enamel thins as years pass, allowing the yellowish underlayer, called dentin, to show. Diet and hygiene (like skipping the toothbrush and drinking dark-colored liquids) can also cast a shadow on your pearly whites.

Interesting Facts

Don't think you're off the hook if you drink diet cola - sugar and the acids in your Diet Coke eat away at the enamel coating your teeth.