Why Have My Teeth Lost Their Whiteness?

Aug 01, 2023
Why Have My Teeth Lost Their Whiteness?
Does your smile seem dull? Discolored? More yellow than usual? It can be frustrating if your teeth lose their luster, especially if you have impeccable oral hygiene habits. However, it’s a common problem. Here’s why.

It’s impossible to resist a spotless smile. But, what if your pearly whites don’t seem as bright anymore? This is actually a common issue, but it can have a variety of causes.

Robert A. Scherrer, DMD, at Advanced Dental Care of Ridgewood in Ridgewood, New Jersey, offers professional whitening services. Unlike over-the-counter options, Dr. Scherrer’s proven products can restore your smile in a single visit or while you relax in the comfort of your own home.

If your teeth have lost their whiteness, here’s what could be to blame. 

Understanding tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration falls into two categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. 

Extrinsic discoloration

These changes affect the outside of the tooth, specifically the clear protective enamel. This type of discoloration is due to what your teeth come into contact with, such as foods, beverages, and tobacco products. Teeth with extrinsic staining often appear yellow, brown, or purple-ish in color.

If you’ve noticed your teeth losing their luster, you should check your daily habits. If you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee or tea every morning, heading out on a smoke break, or ending your day with a glass of red wine, it’s likely you have extrinsic staining ruining your smile. 

All of these behaviors can stain enamel over time, which can cause your teeth to look dull and discolored. And, it can become worse if you skimp on brushing, flossing, and regular professional dental cleanings.

Fortunately, extrinsic tooth discoloration often responds to professional teeth whitening treatments.

Intrinsic discoloration

Conversely, this cause of discoloration involves the dentin inside your tooth. This material lies underneath the clear enamel, and if the enamel gets thin enough, it can begin to show through. Unfortunately, this can make teeth appear pale yellow, gray, or even black.

Other common causes that can lead to internal discoloration include:

  • Genetics 
  • Experiencing dental trauma
  • Living with certain health conditions, such as celiac, liver, or metabolic diseases
  • Having nutritional issues, such as eating disorders or calcium deficiencies
  • Taking certain medications
  • Undergoing some cancer treatments

The discoloration due to these causes can also appear grayish or black.

Since intrinsic stains are internal, whitening treatments may not be the best option. Instead, veneerscrowns, or dental bonding may be better choices.

Professional whitening for tooth discoloration

There’s a reason why professional whitening treatments are popular. Formulas provided by dental professionals are safe and effective, and they can dramatically brighten your smile in a single visit or in the comfort of your own home.

The secret is the powerful whitening solutions, which are stronger than whitening systems sold over the counter. If you come to our office, we expertly apply the solutions, and you can go home with teeth that are many shades brighter.

If you choose a take-home whitening system, you’ll still get a powerful formula, but the treatment will take days or weeks to complete. However, you’ll be able to do it on your own schedule and in your own home.

And, as mentioned, if whitening treatments wouldn’t be the best option for you, you may be able to get the bright white smile you desire with veneerscrowns, or dental bonding. These treatments offer equally transformative results by concealing the discoloration instead of bleaching it away.

Have your teeth lost their whiteness? Dr. Scherrer can help put the gleam back in your smile. To learn more, call 201-670-0670 or book an appointment online with Advanced Dental Care of Ridgewood today.