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Are Whiter Teeth Healthier?
Recently, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of teeth whitening kits on the market, all promising sparkling white teeth. Moreover, many people believe that white teeth are a symbol of a healthy mouth, but this notion is borne from advertisements, not dentists. If you have been curious to know if you have the right teeth color, you may want to talk to the dentist to see where you stand on the standard color profile.
Does discoloration mean your teeth are not healthy? In short, no. That is not always the case. Here is some information to guide you.
Are discolored teeth unhealthy?
Despite our fascination with white teeth, it is normal for regular, healthy teeth to have a light yellow appearance. The enamel, which is the first outermost layer of the teeth is a blue-white hue. The dentin, lying in the middle layer, is a dense tissue mass with a touch of yellow. This indicates that having a thick layer of dentin and proportionate enamel should give your teeth an off-white, slightly yellow look.
Discolored teeth are a normal part of the aging process
Age changes people. Wrinkles start to form, hair color turns grey and with time, the teeth lose color. Regardless of regular brushing and flossing, the teeth will still change. The older you become, the denser and darker the dentin turns.
The enamel also wears out as you age, revealing the dentin even more. Years of consuming coffee, tea, smoking and eating damage the teeth. In some cases, genetics may be responsible. For example, if your parent’s teeth turned yellow at old age, yours probably will, too.
These processes are common aspects of aging. Although the teeth may turn darker, this does not necessarily mean they are not healthy.
Brown, black, or green discoloration is cause for concern
While teeth darkening and yellowing may not indicate a problem, some teeth discoloration needs urgent dental care. If the teeth are darker than a slight yellow hue, usually brought on by heavy smoking, then that could cause several dental health complications. Some conditions like fluorosis can discolor the dentin or enamel.
Green or orange coloration on the teeth could be a sign of growing fungi or bacteria. With deep dental cleaning, a dentist can remove this type of discoloration.
Red, black, or brown coloration are also signs of porphyria, a rare genetic disease that affects the blood. There is no cure for porphyria, but adequate treatment can make the condition more bearable.
Do you have healthy teeth?
If your smile is not sparkling white, it does not indicate the presence of a problem. Normal, healthy teeth are typically off-white or somewhat yellow, and they naturally darken with age. However, if you notice brown, green, or black coloration on your teeth, you should discuss it with your dentist.
Please call us with your questions if you are yet unsure of your teeth condition. We have seen many cases and know how to treat your unique smile.
Call (813) 968-5368 today to discuss your teeth with North Tampa Dentistry.
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