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Does Discoloured Teeth Mean They’re Unhealthy?

20 September,2017

Does Discoloured Teeth Mean They’re Unhealthy?

Are Stained Teeth Unhealthy?

It can cause embarrassment when you notice your teeth a little more on the yellow side than the white side, especially when media is plastered with people who have gleaming pearly whites. But just like the hair on our head changes colour as we age, so does the colour of our teeth. There are a number of foods that can contribute to the discolouration of your teeth, but it can also be quite a natural occurrence for people.

When we are younger, it is likely that teeth will appear brighter in colour, and tend to have a thicker white enamel. This layer of enamel tends to dissipate in time, and become translucent which can display the yellow dentine which causes a more yellow appearance in the teeth.

Through the years, the teeth may move to be progressively darker. However, there are steps that can be taken to change the appearance of the teeth, such as whitening. However, it is perfectly natural for your teeth to have an aged appearance over time. The look of teeth can vary from white all the way to a brown colouration, dubbed ‘dental shading’ by numerous dentists.

Types of Stains

Although there are varying colourations that teeth can take on, there are only really two types of stain categories. There are:

  • Extrinsic: Stains that appear on the outer surface of the teeth.
  • Intrinsic: Caused by the changes of the inner layers of your teeth.

Both these types of stains carry different characteristics, effects and are treated in a different way.

Are They Healthy?

The only person who can really determine this is your dentist, however it doesn’t strictly come down to the colour of your teeth. Healthy teeth can appear stained, and unhealthy teeth can appear pearly white.

The stains that may indicate something more serious lying below the surface of your teeth are:

  • Green Stains: This is quite a rare type of stain, but can indicate a health problem. They are caused by exposure to metals which are toxic, such as copper or nickel, or by bacterial or fungal infections within the teeth. If you notice this in yourself, or in a child, it is best to consult the advice of your dentist.
  • Orange Stains: Common in younger children, orange stains are caused by bacteria build up. Generally, it appears when people aren’t brushing their teeth properly or thoroughly.

If you notice any stains that aren’t going away from general cleaning, make sure you consult our friendly dentist. Also refer to [latest_post cat="teeth-whitening-service"] for additional thoughts and ideas for a brighter whiter smile.

Last updated 5th January, 2019 by a teeth bleaching professional near you