The Inevitability of Yellow Teeth

Q. Why do teeth turn yellow with age? Is there any way to prevent it?

A. Besides the cumulative effect of the many external causes of tooth discoloration over a lifetime, there are at least two structural changes that make teeth more likely to appear yellow as someone grows older. These are the gradual thinning of the enamel, the outer coating of the tooth, and the thickening of the layer under that, called the dentin.

As the enamel thins because of wear and tear and things like acidic foods, the natural yellow-to-brown color of the dentin it covers shows through more and more, according to a review of the literature on tooth discoloration published in The British Dental Journal in 2001.

The yellowing may be more or less obvious, depending on the genetically determined natural color of the dentin and the thickness of the enamel. A further complication is that once the dentin is exposed, other coloring agents are more easily absorbed by teeth.

Meanwhile, “the natural laying down of secondary dentin affects the light-transmitting properties of teeth, resulting in a gradual darkening of teeth with age,” the review continues.

Many causes are avoidable or treatable, like dry mouth; excessive consumption of sugars, acids and alcohol; bulimia; teeth grinding; and acid reflux disease. Beverages like tea, coffee and red wine and foods like blackberries are also well known to discolor the teeth, as is tobacco in any form.

source: the new york times website

For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.

We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…20150516_104112

You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.

We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am

The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.

We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.

Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.

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