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Discoloured teeth correction

What causes Tooth Discolouration?

Teeth can be discoloured due to many reasons and Dentists have categorized them into two main types:

  • Extrinsic Staining:
    This type of discolouration is superficial. It appears yellow and spreads out over the whole tooth. Yellow Teeth is usually caused as a result of eating food or drinking beverages that have strong colours in them. Some examples of such items are black tea, berries, coffee, wine and smoking.
  • Intrinsic Staining:
    This type of staining is usually localized to a small area and not spread out over an entire tooth. These Stains are usually dark and are deeper in the tooth. They are basically built into the tooth. These stains appear as a result of either of a side effect to some medications, overexposure to fluoride or a disease. The dentin layer of the teeth is exposed when the outer enamel layer erodes.

Discoloured Teeth Correction

The dentist will recommend the following options for treating discoloured teeth such as yellow teeth:

Non-Surgical Options

  • Patients need to avoid foods and beverages, and habits that can cause staining. This includes reducing the intake of tea, coffee and smoking.
  • Patients must perform effective tooth brushing at least twice a day with a dentifrice, which contains an abrasive, a detergent and an anti-tar agent.
  • Professional tooth cleaning can remove some extrinsic stains using ultrasonic cleaning. But repeated use of these methods can lead to enamel removal.
  • Enamel Microabrasion is another technique where a rotary application of a mixture of weak hydrochloric acid and silicon carbide particles in a water-soluble paste is done. This is usually performed for removing superficial intrinsic discolouration.
  • Bleaching or tooth whitening can also be performed to treat many types of tooth discolouration. The following 2 techniques are widely used for bleaching:

    • Vital Bleaching: is usually done for patients with yellow, orange or light brown extrinsic discolouration. The bleaching agents when applied in high concentrations produce significant bleaching. In-office ‘power’ bleaching uses hydrogen peroxide and is performed by a dentist. Home bleaching systems are also available that can be done either at home alone or with in-office bleaching.

    • Non-Vital Bleaching: is usually done for treating teeth with discolouration that is secondary to degeneration of the tooth pulp. The ideal case for non-vital bleaching is a tooth with an unrestored crown.

Surgical Options

The dentist might recommend the following surgical care for correcting discoloured teeth such as yellow teeth:

  • Dental Restorations:
    This is recommended for teeth that are discoloured by dental caries and this involves the removal of caries, followed by the restoration of the tooth. The dentist might also recommend partial or full coverage dental restorations to treat generalized intrinsic tooth discolouration or when bleaching does not meet the patient’s expectations.
  • Dental Extractions and Implantations:
    Dental extractions are usually recommended for patients with severely carious teeth that are non-restorable or for teeth with large periodontal defects. Replacement of the tooth with Osseointegrated Dental Implants is a good option in some patients, depending on their medical condition.

Authored by DR.NIRANJAN P



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