Teeth Whitening: What Causes Our Teeth to Become Discolored?

A popular procedure our patients ask us about is teeth whitening.

Many people wish to enhance their smile and brighten their teeth. Before we discuss the teeth whitening procedure, we want to first address what can cause your teeth to become discolored in the first place.

Injury: When one or more of your teeth are injured, such as a cracked or bruised tooth, it may become discolored.

Diet: What you eat and drink can have an impact on the brightness of your teeth. Coffee, tea, and foods containing food coloring can all stain your tooth enamel.

Tobacco: Any form of tobacco use can stain your teeth. Not only does tobacco stain teeth, it also increases the amount of plaque in your mouth.

Age: Tooth discoloration can occur naturally as well. As we age, your tooth enamel can wear down, exposing the inner part of your tooth. This will cause your teeth to have a yellow tint.

Medications: A common side effect of certain medications is tooth discoloration.

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In our next post, Dr. Aerni will discuss the teeth whitening procedure that he uses at his office. If you are interested in teeth whitening and would like to learn more, be sure to schedule an appointment with us today.

Can Chewing Sugarless Gum Actually Benefit Your Dental Health?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), chewing sugarless gum may actually help keep your mouth healthy.

The research found that chewing gum containing xylitol, a sugar substitute, for 20 minutes following a meal can help prevent cavities.

Why does this happen?

The act of chewing produces saliva, and saliva is important for keeping your mouth healthy by neutralizing acids. It also helps fight diseases and removes food that is stuck in your teeth.

But why not just chew regular gum?

Although chewing does produce saliva, if you have gum that is full of sugars it will mix with the saliva and can spread cavity-causing bacteria. You want to make sure that you are buying gum that contains xylitol, as this sweetener does not spread the cavity-causing bacteria that sugary gum does. You can also view the ADA’s list of approved gums.

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It is important to remember that chewing sugarless gum is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. Chewing sugarless gum can be an aid in fighting cavities, but proper dental hygiene and regular trips to the dentist are the best ways to fight against cavities, decay and gum disease.

If you are due for a cleaning or have any questions about the health of your mouth, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni in Strongsville, OH.