Why Are My Teeth Losing Their Whiteness with Age?

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Why Are My Teeth Losing Their Whiteness with Age?

Have your teeth changed? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your teeth aren’t as white as they once were. A bright, sparkling smile reflects your inner self. Here’s why your smile may not be as bright as it used to be.

If you see advertisements for teeth whitening products everywhere you turn, you have a pretty good idea of just how in-demand those products are. A sparkling smile is seen as a healthy smile, and most of us pursue good oral health.

At Lovely Smiles Orthodontics, Dr. Nicole Thompson and her team are happy to help you return your smile to its bright splendor. But, you may be wondering why, exactly, your teeth look more yellow or gray than they used to. In this post, we describe some of the reasons your teeth lose whiteness with age. 

Your teeth and age

Your teeth are white thanks to a coating of tough and durable enamel. If you know why your teeth aren’t as white as they were, you may have a better idea of how to restore their color. Here are a few of the common reasons teeth become dingier over time. 

1. What you eat and drink

Foods and beverages that are dark in color, or have deep pigmentation, are a very common reason for teeth to become discolored. Coffee, red wine, blueberries, and similar foods and drinks can penetrate through your enamel and stain your teeth. 

2. Time

Enamel wears down over time. Every day you bite and chew and your teeth rub against each other and your tongue and all of those things contribute to wearing your enamel. As your enamel becomes thinner, the inner substance of your teeth, the dentin, shows through. Dentin is yellow or gray in color. 

3. Acid

Foods and beverages that are high in acidic content, like sodas or citrus fruits, are rough on your enamel. Acid eats away at your enamel, exposing more of your dentin. Be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after you consume something with a high acid content. 

4. Smoking

You already know that smoking is bad for your health, but did you know it also stains your teeth? Tobacco leaves yellow or brown stains on your teeth. 

5. Poor hygiene

Do you need to improve your oral hygiene routine? Lack of brushing and flossing, or using poor technique can leave plaque, which becomes tartar. Over time, those substances build up, making your teeth look dingy, and also leaves you more susceptible to gum disease.

Both improving your at-home oral hygiene and coming to our office for regular professional cleanings can help.

6. Damage

Whether due to trauma or disease, damage to your teeth can cause discoloration. The inner part of your teeth are home to nerves and blood vessels. If you have an infection that causes damage or you experience some trauma that does, those nerves and blood vessels may no longer function well enough to keep your tooth healthy. 

7. Some medications

Some common medicines can lead to discoloration. For example: 

  • Certain antibiotics
  • Some medications used to manage high blood pressure
  • Some types of antihistamines

If you think that one of your medications could be discoloring your teeth, talk to your doctor. Don’t just stop taking medications. 

Whiten your smile

Regardless of the cause of your teeth discoloration, we can help. Having your teeth professionally cleaned is a good first step to brightening your smile. 

If a cleaning doesn’t get your smile where you want it, professional whitening offers impressive results. We use stronger agents to whiten your teeth than you can get over the counter. You’ll likely be surprised by both the degree of whitening and the durability of the results.

Schedule your appointment today to find out how we can help you get your gleaming, healthy smile back!