It can be rather upsetting to see that your smile is no longer as bright and appealing as it used to. Most people’s teeth become stained and discolored and result of diet and poor oral hygiene habits. It can make the whole appearance look dull and unkempt, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out the causes and what you can do about it.
There are some reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. The culprits for tooth discoloration are as follows:
- Tobacco – Smoking or chewing on them stains teeth.
- Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
- Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
- Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
- Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
- Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
- Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can stain teeth; this is known as fluorosis.
- Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
- Trauma – a hit to the maxillofacial region can damage the tooth and cause discoloration due to pulp necrosis.
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.
The options vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers. These tools cater for various needs according to patient’s concern.
We treat patients from Meriden and the surrounding area
Whether you call it pop, soda, soft drink, or something else, these terms all refer to a sugary, carbonated drink popular all over the country. It is estimated that Americans consume over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year. These beverages can cause serious health problems, including negative effects on your oral health.
Soft drinks are one of the most significant reasons for tooth decay, and it impacts all age groups. From babies drinking it out of bottles to teenagers drinking it all day long to older adults sipping it in retirement homes, it is deteriorating tooth enamel and eroding gums of everyone who consumes it.
Why are soft drinks harmful?
The high sugar content in the drinks is the root cause of trouble, and the high acid content adds to the threat. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to create an acid, which adds to the acid from the drink itself. Then this mixture attacks your teeth. Each time you take a drink of the carbonated beverage, an acid attack begins in your mouth. During this time, your tooth enamel is weakened and cavities are just waiting to form. You may think that the risk goes away by drinking sugar-free soft drinks. Although these are less harmful, they are still acidic and can lead to decay.
How can I avoid harming my teeth?
The ideal way to rule out risks from soft drinks is to cut them out of your diet completely. If you think you just can’t live without them, here are some suggestions:
- Substitute other drinks. Try drinks with less sugar, like 100% fruit juice and milk.
- Set a good example. Drink alternatives yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
- Sip with straws. This helps keep the sugar from direct contact with your teeth.
- Rinse with water. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the amount of sugar and acid hanging onto your teeth and gums.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Using fluoride in your daily dental routine helps to reduce decay and strengthen enamel. Also ask your dentist about the possible need for professional fluoride treatments.
If you need a dentist in Meriden contact us today
Pain, sensitivity, and trouble eating or sleeping are only a few of the uncomfortable symptoms of a damaged tooth. Sometimes the inside portion of a tooth, or its pulp, becomes so damaged that action must be taken. It could come in the form of extracting the tooth or it might be able to be saved through root canal treatment.
Virtually every dentist recommends root canal therapy over tooth extraction. It’s almost always better to save your natural tooth. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a hole in your smile and the problems that accompany it.
A tooth can be damaged for a variety of reasons such as severe decay, trauma, or deep cavities. The damaged pulp contains nerves, which is one reason that many patients experience severe pain. Although dental fillings can remedy some cavities or decay, when the situation advances to the extent of harming the tooth pulp, fillings are not enough. Root canal treatment is usually the best way to repair the tooth without having to pull it.
A root canal procedure involves drilling into the tooth so that the pulp can be completely removed and the canal thoroughly cleaned. Then the area is filled with special material and sealed to prevent future damage. Often, a dental crown is placed on top of the restored tooth to provide added protection. This process alleviates any symptoms and give you back your fully functional, natural tooth.
If you were to opt for tooth extraction instead of root canal treatment, you’d be choosing a more invasive approach. The procedure can be intrusive, time consuming and costly. Recovery from tooth extraction can be uncomfortable and take longer than root canal therapy. Careful oral hygiene is necessary after extraction to avoid infection or complications. You’ll also be left with an unappealing hole in your smile that can make eating and speaking more difficult, and your other teeth will likely start moving into that empty space.
To determine the best treatment for you, consult a reputable dentist. You’ll learn about the options and how root canal therapy may be the best choice in restoring your oral health and your smile.
We look forward to seeing you in our Meriden dental office
Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life that brings about many changes to your body. Your oral health is affected as well. There are specific things to keep in mind during pregnancy related to your teeth, gums, and caring for them. Let’s talk about the things you should be thinking about for your mouth while expecting a baby.
Tell your dentist about any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you’re taking, so that it’ll be easier to prescribe any drugs needed for you during dental treatment. Your dentist may also want to consult your doctor to discuss safe painkiller or antibiotic options for you during pregnancy.
If you have a dental emergency or a problem that needs diagnosis, an X-ray may be required. Radiation exposure from dental X-rays is very low, but your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron to protect your abdomen. A leaded thyroid collar will also be used to protect your thyroid from radiation.
It’s not uncommon for some women to develop pregnancy gingivitis, which is a gum problem that occurs during the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy. This condition is an inflammation of the gums that causes tenderness, swelling, and usually some bleeding during dental hygiene tasks. Your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis, because left untreated it can advance to more serious gum disease.
Some pregnant women experience overgrowths of tissue called pregnancy tumors, which appear on the gums mostly during the second trimester. They are not cancerous and are usually located between your teeth. Dentists believe they are related to having too much plaque. Pregnancy tumors bleed easily and appear red and raw. Usually they go away after the baby’s birth, but some women prefer to have them removed before then. Discuss options with your dentist to see what’s best for you.
If you live in the Meriden area contact us today
Nearly two million people worldwide have discovered Invisalign, the latest technology for improving smiles. Treatment involves wearing a series of customized clear plastic aligners to gently shift teeth into better positions. This revolutionary method is appealing to patients because it eliminates some of the aspects that people dislike about traditional orthodontic solutions.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to Invisalign is that the aligners are invisible. The clear plastic makes the trays almost undetectable in your smile. This gives patients the confidence to smile throughout treatment instead of being embarrassed by a mouth full of metal.
You can remove your Invisalign aligners at any time. Although for best success they should be worn at least 20 hours per day, they should be removed while eating or performing oral hygiene tasks. This means that there are no diet restrictions during treatment, and maintenance is simple because it involves normal brushing and flossing.
Invisalign aligners are comfortable since there are no wires or brackets that might poke or tear your skin. They also are safer than some other orthodontic options when playing sports or other activities. Invisalign aligners gently move teeth so there is typically less pressure or pain during treatment than with traditional braces.
The aligners are customized for every patient to treat your specific issues. Different sets of aligners are provided for adults, adolescents and children, plus different sets are worn during each stage of straightening. This personalized solution means that treatment is very precise, and it is even created and monitored using special computer software to increase the accuracy of treatment. Also, many patients find that the duration of treatment is less for Invisalign. The average treatment time is often about one year, as long as you wear the aligners as recommended.
With all of the advantages that Invisalign offers, it’s easy to understand why it has become such a popular choice in orthodontic treatment. If you’re interested in seeing if Invisalign is right for you, schedule a consultation with a dental professional who is trained and qualified in providing this type of treatment.
If you live in the Meriden area contact us today
It’s part of life that your teeth will likely become dull and yellowed as you age and consume foods that contribute to teeth staining. However, you don’t have to go through life with a tainted smile. There are many options available these days for either at-home or professional teeth whitening. If you choose to brighten your smile, you’ll want to make sure you maintain the look as long as possible. Eating certain foods can help you naturally achieve the goal of a dazzling smile.
Lemons, oranges, pineapples and other citrus fruits contain natural acids that help whiten teeth. Their tart flavor also promotes saliva in your mouth, which creates a natural rinse and polish over your teeth.
Rich in vitamin C, strawberries can help prevent gum inflammation and other periodontal issues. They also contain malic acid as well as ellagitannins, which are antioxidants that help banish bacteria in your mouth.
Chewing crunchy fruit like apples helps scrub your teeth to get rid of plaque and germs. Apples also have lots of malic acid, an ingredient in some toothpastes, which increases saliva to clean teeth and remove stains.
An extra benefit of pineapples is bromelain, a compound that has cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps eliminate unsightly stains naturally.
Mineral ingredients like calcium and phosphorus give cheese an edge in strengthening your teeth. Cheese also contains protein that protects tooth enamel, and lactic acid that protects against tooth decay. Hard cheeses promote saliva production to clean your teeth.
High in fiber, broccoli can help lower inflammation in your mouth and body. Crunching on raw broccoli cleans and polishes your teeth, and the iron content helps protect your teeth from damaging bacteria and acid.
Schedule your appointment at our Meriden dental office