Stained Smile

Nothing is more impressive than a clean white smile at the end of your presentation to either your clients or your boss. To achieve this one must understand what causes a discolored smile. Teeth can get stained externally or internally.

External stains are stains derived from outside the tooth. Known possible reasons include:

Gum disease - It is not uncommon for one to suffer from gum disease and have stained teeth. Tartar one of causing agent of gum disease form a black of brown coloration around the gum line leading to weak bleeding gums that can be unpleasant. Scaling is the gum treatment of choice that removes of these deposits leaving the teeth surfaces clean and the gum healthy.

Colored food - These include foods such as coffee, tea, wines, green vegetables like spinach, carrots, kale (sukuma wiki). Since it impossible to avoid these foods an annual dental clean is advised to maintain a clean bright smile.

Tobacco usage - Either smoked or chewed tobacco causes teeth to acquire a brown nicotine stain. Continuous use leads to gum disease. Stopping the habit prevents further progression of the stain and gum disease. Scaling and a good dental polish brings back the shine to the teeth and health to the gums.

Internal stains those stains found within the tooth structure. Possible causes are:

1.Antibiotics - Tetracycline taken in childhood before eruption of the permanent teeth or by pregnant or lactating mothers gets absorbed in the bone and teeth. This leads to a grayish coloration of children teeth. Depending on the level of discoloration a treatment process known as bleaching is done under the supervision of the dentist to reduce the grayness. Otherwise if it's too dark the tooth capping using crowns is recommended.

2.Flourosis - This is a condition where high intake of fluoride leads to brown coloration of teeth. In our country, areas in Central province and parts of the Rift Valley have high fluoride levels in the water and soils. It is therefore not uncommon to find children leaving in the said areas with brown colored teeth. These teeth are generally weak and tend to break off easily. The condition progresses on in adulthood and is associated with bleeding gums. People suffering from this condition suffer from low self esteem and weak gums. Management involves gum treatment to rehabilitate back the health of gums. Depending on the degree of discoloration a bleaching session is advised. However, in severe cases crowning the teeth is best to not only improve appearance but also increase on the strength of the teeth.

3.Trauma- Accidental falls or assault involving teeth can cause teeth to change their color to grey or black. The impact of a strong force will crush the nerve and blood supply within the tooth. This cause internal bleeding within the tooth. As a result the bleeding clot permeates inside the tooth leading to the grey/black coloration. The tooth at this stage is dead and with time develops an infection. The most commonly affected teeth are the upper incisors and it's not unusual to find a swelling of pus around it. Treatment is to have radiograph taken to access the level of internal damage. Root canal treatment is thereafter advised. Depending on the level of discoloration a process of internal bleaching can be done, otherwise the tooth should be crowned.

4.Ageing - This may come as a shock but yeas teeth age and change color with time. This is a natural process and while there so many cosmetic creams in the market that want to turn back the clock your teeth will definitely sell you. Children's' milk teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth especially when the child is now an adult. The food we eat the, the foods we drink and the normal wear and tear makes our teeth move from white to have a yellowish tint as we age. Brushing and flossing your teeth efficiently not only helps to keep your guns healthy but also help in keeping your teeth clean and bright. Having a dental clean once a year also helps to clean those had reach areas and helps to keep the teeth also bright. Other than that bleaching helps to some degree but remember teeth are never whitewash white but off- white or creamish-yellow in color.

5.Genes - Yes, this helps too. Some communities who have very high calcium and potassium levels in their diet are known to have brilliant white smiles even as they age. Communities from the lake side and in the south rift are one of the most fortunate people who have these smiles. While a diet rich in the said minerals help their genes also play a factor. It is also therefore not that same people have very strong teeth and bones.