Taking good care of your teeth and gums will save you from the pains of tooth decay and foul breath. This also helps in keeping gum disease at bay. One important aspect of good oral hygiene is being wary of brown spots on teeth.
Brown spots on the teeth are very common in most people and it can be prevented or eliminated by making some certain changes in one’s lifestyle.
These spots vary in color: from black-brown to yellowish-brown. The size and shape can also vary.
While some people notice blotchy, irregular patches, others may notice brown lines.
Causes of Brown Spot on Teeth
As we mentioned earlier, brown spots are very common in most people and they have many causes, which include medications and diet, although smoking has been regarded as one of the top causes of brown stains on teeth.
Constant nicotine exposure from cigarette smoking creates brown stains on the teeth.
Other causes of brown teeth are:
Foods and Beverages
Discoloration of the teeth can be caused by what you drink and eat. You can get your teeth discolored when you take food and drinks such as:
- Red wine
When the outer layer of the teeth starts to wash off, the effect is tooth decay. When this occurs, plaques filled with bacteria will start forming in the teeth.
If these plaques are not washed off regularly, the acid they contain will begin to break down the enamel and this eventually results in brown stains on the teeth.
Nicotine can be found in tobacco products and it is a common cause of brown stains on teeth.
There are millions of bacteria in the mouth and they constantly mix with food particles and saliva to form plaques.
If plaques are not brushed off regularly, they form tartar, which is a more hardened, permanent coating on the teeth.
As people grow old, the enamel which serves as a protection for the teeth begins to degrade slowly, thereby exposing the yellow dentin layers underneath.
This is a natural process and it can lead to brownish spots on the teeth.
How to Get Rid of Brown Spots on teeth
There are so many ways through which brown spots on teeth can be removed. It can either be done at home or professionally.
1. Dental Prophylaxis
Extrinsic brown stains on the teeth can be cleaned through a treatment called dental prophylaxis.
This process has a dual action, which rids the teeth of surface stains and at the same time protects the gums and teeth from further diseases or damage.
Dental prophylaxis involved 2 stages: Scaling and Polishing
- Scaling: In a situation whereby there is minimal inflammation, the dentist will proceed with the treatment by first scaling the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler to remove the hardened plaque.
This can then be followed by manual scaling to remove debris formed in between the teeth.
- Polishing: After scaling is done, a prophy paste will then be applied to polish off the superficial stains.
This kind of treatment is more effective in removing spots and stains caused by tea, tobacco, coffee, and other foods.
2. Power Bleaching
This involves the use of bleaching gels and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains and brighten teeth.
But to prevent irritation of the mouth by bleaching, the dentist will make use of a protective film called “dental dam”
The next thing to do is the application of light to expedite teeth whitening – a whitening gel will be applied to the teeth and an LED light will then be passed over it.
3. Teeth Whitening Pens
Teeth whitening pens contain hydrogen peroxide, and it is smeared on the teeth surface. The solution will be left on the teeth for about 30 minutes.
It is a good treatment for the sole tooth that has been affected by stains. The pens are although expensive and may not be as effective as other methods.
4. Teeth Whitening Strip
This method is considered convenient and safe and it is done over 10 to 20 days. The strips are fine, transparent and flexible layers of plastic, treated on one side with hydrogen peroxide.
The strips are worn on the teeth and the effectiveness will depend on how long the user leaves them on the teeth.
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5. Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste contains abrasives and chemicals that are effective in removing stains on the teeth.
They are more effective in treating stains caused by cigarettes and caffeine.
The paste is used twice daily and will be more effective if applied for 30 days.
It is, however, important to note that whitening toothpaste will not change the natural color of your teeth, it is only formulated to remove unwanted stains.
6. Composite Bonding and Porcelain Veneers
In a situation whereby the stains on the teeth are darker and more persistent, these methods are recommended.
- Composite bonding: These are artificial materials fixed to the teeth and they could last for as much as 10 years.
They are made of plastic resins, stuck to fillers like glass and then applied on the enamel. This procedure can be reversed as it does not affect the underlying tooth.
- Porcelain veneers: This involves the use of porcelain shells fixed to the tooth and they can also last for a very long time.
How to Prevent Brown Spots on Teeth
The easiest means through which you could prevent brown spots on your teeth is through the practice of good oral hygiene.
It is important to watch what you drink or eat and at the same time, stop smoking.
Consumption of acidic food substances should also be limited as the acid content of the food are most times responsible for the weakening of the enamel, which makes it more prone to browning.
These tips will help:
- The teeth should be brushed with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily
- Flossing should be done once a day
- Brush your teeth after eating or rinse the mouth with water
- Stop the use of tobacco products
- Use a straw to drink beverages
Brown spots on teeth are caused by poor oral hygiene such as smoking and eating too many dark foods and drinks.
However, these spots can be prevented and treated at the same time, either professionally or with homemade remedies.
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