If you're over 40 years of age, you may begin to notice some distinct changes in the color of your tooth enamel. Although it might seem discouraging, the changes in your tooth enamel are normal. Like your bones and other hard tissues, tooth enamel ages and darkens with time. Enamel erosion and some types of food can also make the discoloration in your enamel worse. With the proactive tips below, you can lighten or brighten your tooth enamel now.
Consume More Saliva-Stimulating Fruits
You may already know that the natural dyes in blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries have the ability to stain your teeth. But what you might not know is that pineapples, strawberries, apples, and a few other types of fruit can help clean your tooth enamel instead of stain it. These types of fruit contain natural enzymes that stimulate your mouth to make more saliva. Saliva not only keeps your tooth enamel moist; it also washes away tooth-staining germs called chromogenic bacteria. Chromogenic bacteria can create dark lines or spots along your gum line, on the edges of teeth crowns, or in the back of your teeth.
You can enjoy the fruit above in salads or as snacks. Although can eat your fruit frozen, it's probably best to enjoy them fresh. Also, avoid canned fruit. Even if the fruit is packed fresh, some manufacturers place preservatives, additives, and extra sugars in their products that could increase the bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can produce a powerful acid when they feed on sugar. If the acid stays on your tooth enamel for a long time, it can eventually erode it.
If you don't see a difference in your tooth enamel over time, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. You may need to take more drastic measures to clean up your tooth enamel.
Consult With a Cosmetic Dentist
If your tooth enamel eroded or wore down too much over the years, it may be difficult to whiten or brighten it at home. Tooth enamel can't regrow, regenerate, or repair itself once it erodes. You can only take steps to keep the problem from becoming worse. A cosmetic dentist can evaluate your situation to see what types of dental treatments may benefit you the most.
Depending on the extent of your eroded enamel, a dentist may offer a variety of treatment options to you, including porcelain veneers and chemical whitening. If your tooth enamel is badly eroded or weak, a dentist may cover them with thin shells called porcelain veneers. Veneers not only make your tooth enamel appear whiter and brighter, but they also strengthen and rebuild it.
If your tooth enamel isn't too eroded, chemical whitening may be the best option for you. The whitening process can vary from dentist to dentist, but some dental providers use a hydrogen peroxide–based gel to whiten their patients' teeth. The gel's whitening strength and power is generally accelerated with the use of a special lamp or light. You may experience some discomfort during the treatment. However, most adults don't experience any major problems during and after the whitening process.
If your tooth enamel is too damaged to save with veneers or chemical whitening, a dentist may offer other solutions to you. Your options may include dental implants, dental crowns, and dentures. Some older adults can experience partial or full tooth loss from severe enamel erosion. The dental options listed above are common replacements that may benefit you in the future.
You don't have to live with or accept the problems in your tooth enamel. If you're ready to improve your tooth enamel, contact a dental office like University Dental Group PA today.