With the advent of teeth whitening, it seems as though you can’t turn on the television or open a magazine without seeing a gleaming white smile staring back at you.

White teeth have become such a common cosmetic dental treatment that there are currently hundreds of products and procedures on the market today aimed specifically at providing consumers with pearly white smiles.

However, most of us do not have perfectly white teeth naturally. Have you ever wondered why our teeth darken over time? Dr. John C. Cranham recognizes that staining is a common complaint among his patients, and would like to provide some insight into this problem.

Why Do Teeth Darken?

Teeth discoloration can be caused by a variety of factors. Most commonly, tooth darkening occurs as a natural effect of aging. As we get older, the outer hard tissue covering our teeth, called enamel, wears away and exposes the darker dentin beneath it. This can cause our teeth to appear more gray or yellow rather than white.

Additional tooth staining can also be caused by certain medications. The most notable of these is tetracycline staining, which occurs during tooth development in infancy and childhood when tetracycline antibiotics become incorporated into the tooth structure itself. This causes a translucent, gray appearance to teeth.

Diet can also have a significant impact on tooth color. Colored beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda, as well as some fruits, can cause teeth to darken with repeated intake. In addition, cigarette smoking and the use of other tobacco products can cause staining and tar buildup on teeth.

If teeth discoloration is a cosmetic concern for you, don’t hesitate to discuss your options with Drs. Cranham during your next visit. Professional teeth whitening treatments, porcelain veneers, and composite tooth bonding can all help you achieve the look that you desire!

Brighten Your Smile: At-home Teeth Whitening

In recent years, it seems as though you can’t turn on the television or open a magazine without seeing gleaming white teeth staring back at you. A bright, white smile is among the most desirable traits today. For this reason, teeth whitening is at the forefront of cosmetic dentistry.

Dr. John Cranham offers at-home teeth whitening, which has become an increasingly popular and cost-effective alternative to professional in office teeth whitening treatments.

Yellowish stains, such as those caused by coffee and soda, typically bleach well. However, brown or gray-hued teeth often do not respond well to bleaching. In addition, tooth-colored bonding materials or porcelain crowns are not affected by bleaching and you may want to consider other options, such as porcelain veneers, if these materials are in the front of your mouth. A quick consultation with Dr. Cranham regarding teeth whitening can help you determine your best option and provide you with your brightest and whitest smile!

If your treatment plan includes a take home whitening treatment, Dr. Cranham will take impressions of your teeth to provide custom bleaching trays. Our professional products are specially formulated to reduce side effects such as tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. The custom bleaching trays will keep the bleaching products concentrated on the tooth surfaces and away from the soft tissues of the mouth.

Take-home teeth whitening will provide gradual results that are superior to over the counter options. Your bright, white smile will last for a year or more and periodic touch ups can help to maintain your fresh new look. Avoiding tobacco use and the consumption of dark beverages such as coffee and red wine will also improve the longevity of your treatment.

Posted in: Cosmetic Dentistry

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