THAT Will Stain My Teeth? Really?!

Surprising causes of stained teethFew things can sully an otherwise beautiful smile like teeth tinged with yellow or brown stains. Perhaps this is why teeth whitening has handily become the country’s most popular cosmetic dental treatment. Dr. Todd Pizzi, a cosmetic dentist who offers teeth whitening in Shrewsbury, MA, reminds you that stain-causing agents are everywhere, even where you might not think to look. If your teeth are less white than you’d like, any of these factors may be to blame.

White Wine, Yellow Teeth

You likely know that drinking red wine can make your teeth appear less luminous, but did you know that white wine can have a similar effect? White wine is very acidic and contains tannins, two qualities that cause tooth enamel to become roughened and even damaged. As the enamel becomes more porous, the tooth becomes more capable of absorbing color. For example, say you enjoy a meal with a few glasses of your favorite wine. The acid has a temporary weakening effect on your tooth enamel. You then follow your dinner with a dessert of coffee and red berries. The coffee and berries will be more likely to stain your teeth than if you had not consumed white wine immediately beforehand. Still, says Dr. Pizzi, white wine does not stain teeth as badly as red wine.

Beware Cough Syrups

Cough syrups, allergy medicine, and other liquid medications generally contain fructose, sucrose, and citric acids. The combination of these ingredients contributes to erosion of tooth enamel, which make your teeth more prone to developing stains and cavities. This is especially true for people who take liquid medications immediately before bedtime. If you take your medication after you’ve already brushed and flossed, your teeth will be exposed to the sugary liquid throughout the night. The problem is compounded in liquid preparations that list alcohol as an ingredient; alcohol has a dehydrating effect on your mouth that contributes to bad breath and cavities.

In Case You Missed the Obvious Causes

The most common reasons for developing stained teeth include poor oral hygiene, smoking or chewing tobacco, and drinking dark beverages, such as coffee, cola, and tea. Neglecting to brush your teeth allows food and bacteria to coat the surface of each tooth with yellow plaque. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into a stubborn substance called tartar. At this point, you cannot remove the tartar simply by brushing your teeth; professional teeth cleaning is needed. Tobacco stains are among the most difficult form of discoloration to remove. After several years of using tobacco, sometimes even professional teeth bleaching treatment cannot restore the whiteness of your teeth.

About Your Shrewsbury Dentist

To learn more about services offered at Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in and around Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Boylston, Hopkinton, Milford, and the surrounding communities. For information about our Stoughton location, click here.