Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment for Discoloured or Yellow Teeth

The causes and treatments for discoloured teeth

Causes of Tooth discolouration

Your teeth may become discoloured as the result of a number of factors. These include:

  • Diet and oral intake: smoking or drink a lot of tea, coffee or red wine can stain the teeth overtime.
    • Acidic Food & Drink: Fizzy drinks, fresh fruit juice and foods like yoghurt can dissolve the outer enamel. As the enamel thins, the yellow dentine becomes visible, giving the tooth a yellow look.
    • Vomiting & Reflux: Exposing the teeth to stomach acid through frequent vomiting due to Pregnancy, Anorexia, Bulimia or reflux can also dissolve enamel and cause the teeth to take-on a yellow hue
  • Ageing: Teeth do darken naturally as we age.
  • Tetracycline Staining: Tetracycline taken up to the age of about five can cause the teeth to become very discoloured.
  • Antibiotics Staining: antibiotics can sometimes cause tooth discolouration.
  • Nerve death: A tooth where the nerve has died - probably as the result of infection
  • Following Root Canal Treatment

Treating Discoloured or Yellow Teeth

There are four possible treatments for discoloured or yellow teeth. These are:

  • Cleaning
  • Tooth Whitening
  • Dental Veneers
  • Dental Crowns

Cleaning discoloured teeth 

If one proprietary toothpaste has failed to remove the staining from your teeth it is unlikely that another will be more successful. However, a professional ultra sonic cleaning at your dentists bring better results, particularly if the staining is only light and so it is best to visit your dentist regularly to have this treatment.

Tooth Whitening Treatment

There are a number of tooth whitening products available both in stores and on the Internet. Additionally many beauty parlours are offering this service. They are all usually far cheaper than a dentist will charge. However the dangers of looking for the cheapest solution are considerable.

Tooth whitening solutions are basically bleach and great care is needed over the strength of the solution used and the time it is in contact with the tooth surface. Whitening bleach in inexperienced hands can easily damage the tooth enamel and make the situation worse not better.

You are far better advised to have your teeth professionally whitened by an experienced cosmetic dentist. The patented BriteSmile light system we use is not UV, heat or laser-activated. It is a gentle, blue light tuned to the wavelength of the whitening gel so that your teeth are whitened after about an hour of treatment.

Read More about Tooth Whitening

Dental Veneers

Unfortunately it is often the case that the cause of the discolouration is such that no amount of cleaning nor bleaching will improve it. If the enamel has deteriorated to the extent that the underlying yellow dentine is visible we must cover it rather than trying to change the colour

Dental Veneers are an ideal way of whitening discoloured or yellow teeth. They are think porcelain shells that fit over the front surface of the tooth. They can also help close unwanted gaps between teeth and to some extent help correct the appearance of crooked teeth.

However, veneers are suitable for the front teeth and are not for the rear 'chewing' teeth. Neither are they suitable for anyone with bruxism. They should only be applied to healthy unfilled teeth.

Read more about Porcelain Veneers

Dental Crowns

Crowns are the ultimate solution for very heavily stained or eroded teeth that may have other defects as well. A crown is a cylinder made from Porcelain fused to a metal core that is placed over your natural tooth.

Your own tooth is first prepared to take the crown. It is shaped into the form of a post and then its impression is cast.

The new crown is hand crafted to fit. This gives us the opportunity to produce a tooth that is a better shape and/or size than the old one and we can vary its colour to match adjoining teeth or to be much whiter than before. The new crown is then cemented in place.

Read more about Dental Crowns

Zirconium Crowns

Zirconium crowns are however now the preferred choice for cosmetic dentistry work.

Zirconium has the same translucency as normal teeth giving a completely natural look to the new crowns and so provides a superior cosmetic / aesthetic result.

Because zirconium crowns are metal free there can be no problem with the appearance of a fine dark line of metal at the base of the crown/bridge that can sometimes occur with porcelain fused-to-metal crowns should gum recession occur. 

Read more about Zirconium Crowns