Why Have I Got Dirty Teeth?
There are several reasons why your teeth could have become stained or dirty, it depends on your cleaning habits and your general health. Teeth can sometimes appear dirty immediately after you have eaten or drunk something that contains dark colorants, but this should not be a serious problem, unless you allow the stains to build up on the enamel. Alternatively, bad habits, like heavy smoking and drinking, can really affect the appearance of your teeth, turning them brown, grey, and even black, if you don’t take action quickly enough. Our overall health can also change the shade of our teeth, disrupting the signals from the central system to the nerve endings in the pulp chamber, which replenish the minerals and keeps the enamel looking bright and healthy. Aging is a common cause of dirty teeth – although this can be more accurately described as ‘discolouration’ rather than uncleanliness, as the enamel loses its ability to fight stains as time passes, giving the teeth a duller appearance. The first step towards solving the problem of dirty teeth is to identify the main cause and work from there, make an appointment with the Pearl Dental Clinic, their friendly staff members are always available to discuss your options, and to give you advice on how best to deal with a discoloured smile.
How can I get rid of enamel stains that make my teeth look dirty?
If the problem seems to occur right after you eat or drink something, such as red wine, the best thing to do is brush your teeth as soon as you get an opportunity, or at least rinse your mouth out with water – this removes build up and gives your teeth a chance at repelling the stain before it becomes embedded into the enamel. As an extra consideration, you should try and reduce your intake of substances that can damage your teeth, particularly if you have this problem regularly, because you might end up with long-term issues that need dealing with, if you just continue with your bad habits.
Deep layers of staining that has built up over many years is not going to be as easy to get rid of, so if any amount of brushing and cleaning doesn’t work, you should book yourself in for a teeth whitening treatment. The procedure uses a tiny amount of bleach to attack the dark molecules and return your teeth to natural-looking, white finish, and can give great results in under an hour, in most cases. Whether your dirty teeth are the result of years of neglect, ill health, or simply the process of aging, you could benefit from having them bleached, you might be surprised what a difference it can make to your self-confidence and the way other people view you; a natural, polished smile advertises a healthy, youthful person.
Can having dirty teeth affect my health?
It’s certainly true that unpleasant teeth can have a detrimental effect on self-confidence, but most people forget that there are also health implications to having dirty teeth.
Gum disease – By not cleaning properly, you are allowing bacteria to build up around your teeth, which is especially problematic in hard to reach areas. Gum disease might not sound like something to worry about, and a lot of patients can be lulled into a false sense of security, due to the painless symptoms that surface in the early stages of the disease. However, without treatment, gum disease – known medically as Periodontitis – can lead to more serious problems, and can severely compound further dental treatment of any kind. Once the bacteria has entered your system, it can cause the gums to pull away from the supporting bone, and leaves the roots of the teeth exposed to infection, eventually causing them to fall out completely, if the problem is not treated appropriately.
Tooth decay – Most of us are probably familiar with tooth decay in one respect or another, and there are thousands of adults across the UK with fillings to prove it, but this kind of issue can be avoided by simply dealing with dirty teeth as soon as they become apparent. Your teeth don’t have to be stained or discoloured in an obvious way, for cavities to form in difficult to clean areas; plaque acid and bacterial waste becomes trapped against the enamel and starts to eat away at the minerals in the teeth, eventually this causes holes – known as cavities or dental caries – to form, leaving an open pathway for the bacteria to infect the delicate inner workings at the centre of the teeth. Small cavities might not cause any real pain, and can be dealt with quite effectively, but if the situation is allowed to deteriorate, life-threatening infection can set in – then you might stand to lose more than just your teeth.
Abscesses – Pus-filled swellings are generally the result of bad dental hygiene, but can sometimes form after surgery or following an injury of some kind. Abscesses start to appear during the later stages of decay, and they can develop inside the infected cavity of the tooth, or along the gum line, as your body tries to prevent the bacteria from overpowering your circulatory system. A worrying percentage of adults with dental problems are unaware that abscesses are a sign of a deep set infection that needs treating immediately. Large abscesses can lead to blood poisoning, which can develop into septicaemia quite quickly, without the correct treatment, and poses a serious risk to your health.
How can I avoid getting dirty teeth?
It might seem like our teeth are indestructible, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect them, or expect them to recover from anything you throw at them. Avoid eating and drinking too much of things which will stain your teeth; such as red wine, curry, cola, coffee, and don’t smoke; cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and cigars are all terrible for your health in general, but they are very bad for your teeth. Regular cleaning is a must, if you want to keep your smile a healthy white, remember to brush and floss every day and maintain contact with your dentist, to treat any problems before they can cause even minor damage. You should also replace your tooth brush every few months; an old, soft brush is not going to be adequate for keeping your teeth in the best condition.