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A bright, white smile can make a world of difference in one's expression and confidence. Tooth discoloration can therefore, be a frustrating impediment to achieving the brilliant smile you deserve. Worse yet, some stains are absorbed deep below the surface, making them seemingly impossible to remove. Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options available to expunge or conceal discoloration, helping patients restore the natural color of their teeth.
What causes stained teeth?
Many dentists believe that it can occur to people within the age groups of 2 to 49. There are many causes that can be associated with discoloration of teeth such as consuming acidic food items as they tend to leave stains on the teeth.
Age is also one of the most important factors that contribute to discoloration of teeth. Other than that beverages such as coffee and alcohol also take away the whiteness of teeth leaving them yellow and stained. There are many remedies for stained teeth both medical and natural. One can conveniently choose accordingly but also consult their dentist before going ahead with their decision.
Types of Tooth Discoloration
Before deciding on a procedure, it's important to understand the type of discoloration present on your teeth. Some stains are more easily removable than others, and as such, may require alternative forms of treatment.
- Extrinsic Stains: Also called surface stains, these are the most common source of discoloration. Extrinsic stains tend to result in the general darkening or yellowing of teeth, especially along the edges and near the gums. These are typically caused by food, drink, and tobacco use.
- Intrinsic Stains: Also called deep stains, these tend to be smaller yet more noticeable. As opposed to widespread discoloration, intrinsic stains are localized and a distinctly separate color from surrounding tooth tissue. These are most often caused by medication, overexposure to fluoride, trauma, disease, or enamel erosion.
Whereas surface stains exist within or above the enamel, deep stains are embedded within the inner dentin tissue. Consequently, surface stains are more easily removable.
Treating Surface Stains
Because surface stains can be removed, they are primarily treated through a simple teeth whitening procedure. Teeth whitening is both safe and long-lasting, allowing patients to restore the color of their smile without any dental restorations.
Treating Deep Stains
Patients looking to restore balance to a smile should consider concealing such stains via restorations. The two most common methods of masking discoloration are dental bonding and porcelain veneers:
- Dental Bonding: A bonding procedure includes the use of composite resin, which is applied over the surface of a tooth. The tooth is first coated with a layer of tooth-colored resin before the resin is hardened with an ultraviolet light, with additional layers added as needed. The resin thus conceals any discoloration beneath it, while blending in with adjacent enamel.
- Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are used as a replacement for the surface of a tooth, enhancing it in both color and form. It is an excellent way to alter its overall outward appearance.
Well, your choice of treatment should be the result of an in-depth discussion with your dentist.
Not every tooth infection requires a root canal and hence it is essential to know the indication of a root canal. But exactly a root canal procedure is and why is it required?
A root canal means that the pulp or soft tissue inside a tooth has been damaged by bacterial infection. A root canal involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the infection and filling in the emptied space.
So, how do you know that you need a root canal. Here are some telltale signs:
- Gum tenderness: Swelling that indicates the need of root canal treatment can range from being slightly red and inflamed to pronounced lumps on the gums. In some extreme cases, this swelling may extend out of the gums into the face and neck region. Sometimes, a pus filled boil with a pimple like head may also form on the gums. If this head bursts, the patient may notice a foul taste in the mouth. This swelling can come and go as the tooth decay deteriorates and may or may not be accompanied by pain. Teeth may also feel like they have been pushed out of their sockets and are taller than usual.
- Pain: Discomfort ranging from a dull ache to a sharp pain can be a sign that you need root canal treatment. This type of pain is usually characterized by throbbing and may change as you switch positions. It is usually triggered by chewing, applying pressure on the tooth or eating something cold or hot. In some cases, the patient may not be able to indicate the exact tooth that is hurting but can only identify the painful area.
- Exposure of the dental nerves: At times during regular dental work, the nerves in the tooth may be exposed. This indicates an exposure of pulp tissue and can trigger pulp degeneration if left untreated. However, all of the above symptoms can be symptoms of other types of dental problems as well and do not necessarily individually indicate the need for a root canal. Only a dentist can properly diagnose a need for root canal treatment after a physical examination and testing.
- Tooth discolouration: Discolouring of teeth can be a sign of internal tooth damage. This is especially noted if the teeth take on a dark yellow, grey or blackish tint. Tooth discolouration is fairly common in cases where the tooth has undergone trauma such as an accident etc.