Everyone starts out with pearly white teeth because of the enamel that is there to protect ourteeth from chewing, trauma and acids from sugar. As we get older, this enamel wears down and exposes the yellow dentin underneath, which is the tooth’s core material. After years of chewing, micro-cracks occur in the enamel allowing food particles and stains to dull the teeth and they lose their sparkling white appearance. Teeth whitening products that contain solutions of carbamide peroxide remove stains and debris. Some cracks fill in and re-mineralizes with saliva while others are left open and exposed to organic debris.
There are two types of teeth stains. They are intrinsic and extrinsic. Stains that form in the interior of the teeth are intrinsic stains. They result from aging, exposure to minerals and excessive ingestion of fluoride. Dentists do have take home kits to treat the interior stains, but it can take up to one year to see results. Stains on the surface of the teeth are extrinsic. They appear because of normal wear and tear as well as exposure to staining food and liquids. Stubborn extrinsic stains require teeth bleaching with a product such as carbamide peroxide to remove.
There are many causes of tooth discolouration or tooth stains. These include smoking, age, eating habits, grinding the teeth and drugs. The nicotine in cigarettes leaves brown spots on teeth that over time can soak into the teeth and cause intrinsic stains. Teeth naturally discolour with age because of wear and tear. Eating habits that include consuming foods such as carrots, red wine, teas, colas and coffee also causes stained teeth. Out of a nervous habit, some people grind their teeth and this can result in micro-cracking that collects debris and cause discoloration. Using a teeth-whitening product containing carbamide peroxide can help whiten teeth in any of these cases.
Translucency or thinness of the teeth causes a dull or lacklustre smile. Thin teeth are translucent and have less pigment and opaque or thicker teeth appear lighter in colour and sparkle. The translucent teeth and the discoloration associated with it cannot be corrected with a carbamide peroxide bleaching treatment. However, if you teeth are more opaque a bleaching treatment will help whiten your teeth and brighten your smile. Heredity determines the type of teeth you have, so translucency is something that cannot be corrected or changed unless you opt for dental veneers to correct the teeth.