Discolored teeth is one of the most common reasons people seek cosmetic dentistry. If you are looking at your smile, you may be concerned if you notice that some of your teeth seem to be different colors from some of the others. This should not be a major concern, as there should be natural color differences between your teeth, but there are situations in which individually discolored teeth may require attention.
There are significant variations in the natural color of your teeth. Upper (maxillary) teeth tend to be brighter and whiter than lower (mandibular) teeth. This is probably for display. When we smile, most of us tend to show more of our upper teeth, and little, if any of our lower teeth. Our upper teeth are designed for display, especially the central incisors, which are the brightest teeth.
The least bright of our teeth tend to be the canines. These are more likely to be yellowish, though not really yellow. Our upper canines have significantly more enamel than our incisors, and, really, a remarkably thick enamel. The lower canines have thinner enamel than the lower incisors, while the upper canines have much thicker enamel than the upper incisors, probably retained from their role as weapons, which would require them to be much stronger. This very thick
enamel gives the canines a deep color saturation.
On the other hand, you may suffer from discoloration of just some of your teeth. There are many common reasons for this.
Smoking is one of the worst causes of localized discoloration. Drawing the staining smoke in through your lips in one or just a few spots will tend to strongly discolor one or a few teeth compared to their neighbors.
Drinking staining beverages can also lead to localized discoloration. You will stain your front teeth more than your other teeth. You can reduce this by drinking discoloring liquids with a straw. (For sodas this has the benefit of reducing the contact damaging acids have with your teeth.)
Injury to a tooth can lead to discoloration, either by affecting the development of the enamel or causing injury or even death of the nerve inside the tooth.
And sometimes a tooth may develop with enamel irregularities that cause it to be discolored.
Teeth whitening is good for the overall removal of discoloration, including staining related to smoking or drinking. If you have individual teeth that are discolored because of injury or development problems, porcelain veneers are the right approach to correcting them.
If you are concerned about the color of your teeth, please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment with a Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist at Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD.