Most of us are extremely conscious about our smile, aren’t we? And why shouldn’t we be? Our smile may be the first thing that someone we’re talking to notices. And our teeth constitute a huge part of our smile. So, it’s only natural to think about how our teeth may appear and find ways to make them look better.
One of the biggest concerns that so many of us have relates to the colour or shade of our teeth. On billboards and in advertisements, we see models with perfect, pearly white teeth. We see actors and actresses sport teeth that are akin to glaring white piano keys. And this gets us thinking whether there’s something wrong with our own teeth, which may be slightly yellow.
To put all your doubts to rest, let us assure you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your slightly yellowish teeth. But yes, if the yellowing has an unhealthy cause then you may have to intervene, and we’ll get to that later. However, if your teeth are naturally yellow and do not have any dental problems, then you have nothing to worry about.
Let us understand why some teeth appear more yellow than others.
The Layers of Your Tooth
The hard part of your tooth consists mainly of two structures. The outer enamel, which is a thin layer that is the hardest structure in the body, and the inner, less hard part that is called the dentin. Now, the enamel is mostly a hue of white or bluish white, whereas the inner dentin is mostly yellow. Additionally, the enamel is not totally opaque, it may be slightly translucent. And therefore, the inner yellowness of the dentin shows through the enamel causing the teeth to look yellow.
Some people may have a slightly more translucent or a thinner layer of enamel, causing their teeth to look more yellow, because the shade of the inner dentin passes through more easily. So in the end, the cause of your yellow teeth may not be any dental disease, but a simple factor of a thin or more translucent enamel, which is totally normal. The nature of the enamel may be genetic or may have other factors.
Unhealthy Causes of Discoloured Teeth
It is one thing if your teeth are naturally yellow, but you can also have some underlying, unhealthy causes for yellow teeth. These can be:
Smoking can cause yellowish or brownish staining of your teeth. These stains are not inherent to the tooth, and can be cleaned using dental cleaning procedures.
Teeth Grinding or Bruxism
Teeth grinding can cause the layer of your enamel to wear off and become thinner, leading to a yellowish appearance of your teeth.
Improper Brushing Habits
If you’re brushing too vigorously, using a hard bristled toothbrush or simply brushing with abrasive toothpastes, your enamel may wear out and become more translucent, leading to yellowish teeth.
Other factors for tooth discoloration include tooth decay, excessive intake of tea or coffee or plaque and calculus accumulation, among other things.
What Can You Do?
If the yellowness of your teeth is natural and you’re fine with it, then you do not have to do a thing. Simply continue your oral hygiene habits and that is enough. But, if you’re worried about your appearances, you can always go for a cosmetic dental treatment like tooth whitening, porcelain laminates or veneers to improve the shade of your teeth.
Your dentist is the best person to guide you and help you deal with this, so the next time you go for a routine check, feel free to ask questions about the colouration of your teeth.