How Smoking Can Lead to Tooth Stains and Discoloration
By Dr. David Wyse on August 19, 2014
Most patients desire a bright, white smile, but that ideal shade of white can be difficult to obtain, or maintain. While every day wear and tear, along with aging, can negatively impact the color of the teeth, there are habits that can make it even more difficult for patients to keep the teeth white and bright. For instance, the use of tobacco can cause the teeth to be stained or discolored. Unfortunately for some of our Bloomington patients, smoking and tooth stains often go hand-in-hand. While it is ideal to avoid smoking all together, we offer professional teeth whitening treatment to erase tooth stains and restore a bright, white color to the smile.
How Does Smoking Affect Tooth Color?
With many of the foods and beverages that are known to cause tooth stains, the reason behind the discoloration is obvious. These foods and beverages tend to be heavily pigmented, so it is easy to see why this may discolor the tooth enamel. But what about smoking? What is it in cigarettes that causes the teeth to become stained or discolored? The answer is tar and nicotine. The tar and nicotine that are contained in cigarettes can easily stain the teeth or make them appear discolored. These substances are strong and can quickly change the color of the teeth so that they appear more yellow than white. For those who are longtime smokers, or those who smoke more heavily, the effects can be even worse, with the teeth suffering from brown stains, or an overall dingy, unhealthy appearance.
Can Smoking Stains be Treated?
The good news is that tooth staining and discoloration that is caused by smoking can be treated. This type of discoloration falls under the category of extrinsic stains, meaning that they exist on the outer layers of the tooth. Because smoking stains the outer, rather than inner layers, of the tooth, they do respond well to teeth whitening treatment. At Chrisman & Wyse Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we offer professional teeth whitening treatment that can erase surface stains caused by smoking, as well as significantly brighten the overall shade of the teeth. Using the BriteSmile® teeth whitening system, patients can improve tooth color by an average of eight shades in just a single appointment. Teeth whitening is a safe cosmetic treatment that produces highly successful results.
It is important to note that, even with treatment, the teeth are not resistant to future staining. If the patient continues to smoke, the teeth will once again become discolored or stained. Because of the health and cosmetic risks of smoking, we advise our patients to break this dangerous habit. However, for those who have a difficult time with this task, oral hygiene is especially important. The teeth should be brushed a minimum of twice a day and regular flossing is also strongly advised. If stains do resurface, teeth whitening treatment can be repeated as needed to maintain the color of the teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
At Chrisman & Wyse Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we believe that all patients deserve a smile that is beautiful as well as healthy. If smoking or tobacco use has led to surface stains or an unattractive tooth color, we can help you brighten your smile. Schedule an appointment with one of our skilled cosmetic dentists to learn how teeth whitening treatment can rid your teeth of unsightly surface stains. We look forward to hearing from you!
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“I love my "new teeth." I feel so much better about my smile. The staff at Dr. Chrisman's office was very friendly and professional. I would recommend them to anyone looking for excellent dental care.” Jennifer B