Coffee is a favorite drink for its ability to provide a boost of energy at the start of your day or anytime you need it. Unfortunately, most coffee lovers don't feel the same fondness for the awful stains it can leave on your teeth. If you're tired of your coffee-stained teeth and can't seem to get the discoloration to go away, read this guide to find out what's going on.
How Coffee Stains
Coffee tends to stain teeth by leaving behind part of its pigment. Teeth are porous, so it's possible for teeth to absorb enough of a pigment to take on a little of that color themselves. These types of stains are easily remedied with dental whitening treatments. However, if you've tried tooth whitening and haven't been satisfied with the results, there's a good chance that you have the second type of coffee discoloration: enamel damage.
What Enamel Damage Is
As you may have heard, coffee is an acidic beverage that can be harmful to the protective layer that keeps your teeth safe from decay and bacteria. Over time, acidic drinks can begin to break down the enamel, putting you at a higher risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems. Long before tooth pain or noticeable damage has occurred, though, discoloration usually appears.
This type of discoloration isn't actually a change of the color of the tooth itself. Instead, it's the acid in your coffee breaking down the enamel, which is white, and revealing the dentin underneath, which is typically yellow or brown. This is why dental whitening isn't making it any better. Without repairing the enamel, the discoloration is unlikely to go away.
What To Do
Thankfully, dentists are experts at repairing problems like thinning enamel. Getting to a dentist when you notice the discoloration could mean the difference between healthy teeth and teeth that are at severe risk of developing cavities or nerve pain.
To repair your enamel, your dentist may remineralize your teeth. This puts some of the minerals that your teeth need to be strong back into your teeth. Alternatively, they may suggest bonding to repair the damage and protect your teeth from further harm. Either method should help to make your teeth look white and healthy again.
Dental discoloration due to coffee isn't necessarily because of the color of the drink. If you're still looking for whitening results, talk to your dentist to find out if you have enamel damage to your teeth. For more information, contact a local clinic like Professional Dental Center.