When Yellow Teeth Are Beyond Your Control

Do you suffer from a dull or yellow smile? It may not be your fault. While most people are well aware of daily culprits that cause teeth to yellow, including coffee, tea and smoking, there are other factors that may be beyond our control. Here are some other reasons that your smile may need professional teeth whitening:

In some cases, you can blame your parents for your yellow teeth. Genetic disposition can determine the thickness of your outer tooth enamel. Just behind this outer layer is your dentin layer, which is naturally yellow in color. Therefore, if you have the genes for thin enamel than the natural yellow dentin layer is more visible.
For the same reason your genes can make your teeth look yellow, your age could also be playing a role in your dingy smile. As we age, our enamel gradually thins. Again, this allows that true yellow dentin color to shine through and threaten your chance for a brighter smile.
Many people find it difficult to maintain a white smile due to the medications they are taking. Medications often produce intrinsic stains, as opposed to the extrinsic stains that foods, drinks and smoking cause. Intrinsic stains occur within the tooth, when various factors change the light-transmitting properties of the enamel and the underlying dentin. Numerous medications cause stubborn tooth stains. Children who take the antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline while their teeth are still developing (before the age of 8) may find that their teeth turn brownish-yellow. For teens and adults, the acne-fighting drug minocycline, a derivative of tetracycline, can cause tooth stains. Even common medicines, such as anti-histamines and certain blood pressure medications, can be the cause of your yellow smile, as can chemotherapy directed at the head and neck.

Regardless of what might be causing your teeth to yellow and whether it is something you can control or not, most patients can still gain a white smile using professional teeth whitening. Although there are countless over-the-counter teeth whitening products out there, a whitening treatment at your dental office can ensure that your treatment is safe and effective for stubborn stains. You may not be able to control what is causing your teeth to yellow, but there are certainly ways to fight back and get the white smile you have always wanted.

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