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Why Do Teeth Lose Their Whiteness with Age?

Why Do Teeth Lose Their Whiteness with Age?

Your smile is one of your most important social features, but none of us can hang onto our pearly whites for a lifetime. Unfortunately, Father Time is a master thief who comes for almost every aspect of your health and beauty, even your smile. 

But if you know the cause of your tooth discoloration, it’s easier to slow its progression and be proactive. 

Our expert dentists at Rifkin Dental in Carmel and Yorktown Heights, New York, have helped countless patients (the young and the young at heart) take back their bright, white smiles with advanced whitening treatments. In this blog, we answer your questions about age-related tooth discoloration and walk you through your teeth whitening options. 

Your teeth over the years

Back in the day, your teeth had a thick layer of durable enamel, the substance that gives your teeth their white color. One of the most common causes of age-related tooth discoloration is simply the wear-and-tear of your enamel over time. 

Every time you chew, bite, gnash your teeth together, or even rub your tongue on your teeth, the enamel gradually wears away. As a result, the inner layers of your teeth start to show through, giving your teeth a yellow or grayish hue. 

Here’s a closer look at some other possible contributing factors.

Food and beverages

The older you are, the more cups of coffee, glasses of wine, and pigment-rich foods you’ve consumed, resulting in stains and discoloration over the years. 

By the same token, years of eating and drinking sugary, starchy, and acidic foods and beverages contribute to enamel erosion, which causes discoloration. 

Tobacco products

Smoking and chewing tobacco are known health hazards, but they also gradually discolor your teeth with continued use. 

Poor dental hygiene

If you haven’t been diligent about brushing and flossing regularly, you’re likely paying for it with discolored teeth in your golden years. 

It’s also important to address oral health issues you haven’t gotten help for, such as teeth grinding and chronic dry mouth, as these conditions can exacerbate enamel erosion. 

What to do about age-related tooth discoloration

No matter what’s caused your teeth to lose their whiteness, we can help. We offer at-home teeth whitening treatments that radically transform your smile in a matter of weeks. 

Rest assured, our at-home kits aren’t like the strips you buy at the store. We customize your whitening trays to fit your mouth perfectly and send you home with powerful, professional quality bleaching agents. 

We also discuss a few ways to combat enamel erosion. Unfortunately, lost enamel is lost forever, but you can strengthen and repair your remaining enamel. This happens through remineralization, which occurs when you reintroduce essential minerals like fluoride, calcium, and phosphate to your teeth. 

The best ways to support the remineralization process is by:

If you have severe enamel erosion, we might recommend taking enamel restoration a step further by investing in veneers, dental bonding, or crowns to refortify your teeth. 

Ready to get back to the good old days of excellent oral health? Let’s talk about your next steps. You can schedule an appointment online or over the phone today at our Rifkin Dental location closest to you.

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