Why Are Teeth White?

In Dentistry by Ian Izaguirre3 Comments

A smile can make your day. But many people feel uncomfortable while smiling – the reason being they don’t want to reveal their stained or discolored teeth. It has been reported that about 20% of people conceal or at least try to conceal their teeth when they are being photographed.

Why are Teeth White

A warm, friendly smile is a great asset to have – it makes others feel comfortable. It would be a shame if you were forced to stop using this great facet of your personality on account of teeth discoloration. To keep your smile going miles, read on about what causes teeth to be white, and the agents of discoloration that you would do well to avoid.

Ever wondered what makes your teeth appear white? The answer to this question provides important clues to teeth discoloration and can help you keep your pearly whites the way they are. The outer part of a human tooth is made of a tissue known as the enamel. The enamel is composed of different minerals – hydroxyapatite, which is a phosphate of calcium, is the most prominent mineral. Calcium is naturally white in color, and this explains the color of our teeth.

However, the enamel is not perfectly white and contains shades of gray and yellow as well. Though it’s the hardest human tissue, it allows light to travel through it and is translucent. This brings the layer under the enamel called dentin, into the picture. Darker and more yellow than enamel, dentin play a role in imparting color to your teeth, if the enamel layer grows thin. So, it’s a simple enough relationship – the thicker the enamel of the teeth, the whiter they are.

Why Teeth Get Discolored

Teeth become discolored because of stains on their surface, or intrinsic changes in tooth material. Dentists identify three types of discoloration:

cleanning teeth 300 by 373

Extrinsic Discoloration
When the enamel gets stained, because of wine, coffee, other drinks/foods, or smoking, it’s called extrinsic discoloration.

Intrinsic Discoloration
When the dentin, or the layer just beneath the enamel, turns yellow or darkens, because of fluoride exposure or other factors, it’s known as intrinsic discoloration.

Age-related Discoloration
As people grow older, the enamel becomes progressively thinner, and the dentin becomes more yellow. Discoloration owing to aging is given the name age-related discoloration.

Agents of Teeth Discoloration

The following are the most important causes of teeth discoloration:

Foods and Drinks
Beverages like tea, coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, wines, and foods like potatoes as well as apples can lead to staining of teeth.

Smoking
Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or using smokeless tobacco also causes discoloration.

Poor Dental Habits
Inadequate brushing of teeth or flossing is one of the most important reasons people get stains on their teeth. Brushing or flossing is advised after every meal.

Advancing Age
Aging leads to thinner enamel and yellow dentin, leading to discoloration.

Environment
High levels of fluoride because of endemic environmental reasons can also lead to staining of teeth and discoloration.

Show Article Sources
“Why are Teeth White”
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“Why are Teeth White”
“http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Common-Concerns/Tooth-Discoloration/article/Tooth-Discoloration.cvsp”
“http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-discoloration”
“http://www.whyzz.com/why-are-teeth-white/”

Comments

  1. Author

    Thank you, I am glad to know that I was able to help you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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