Surface stains, otherwise known as extrinsic stains, are a common problem for those who drink coffee, cola, red wine, and tea. Smoking and eating foods such as strawberries, blueberries, and cherries can also cause stains on the surface of your enamel.
These types of superficial stains can be treated with laser bleaching, whitening strips, and whitening toothpaste; however, if your dentin is exposed as a result of severe acid erosion, these treatments will not work. Dentin is yellow, and when your enamel becomes translucent, dentin becomes more visible. Here are some treatments your cosmetic dentist may recommend that will brighten your smile if it has yellowed as a result of dentin exposure.
Dental veneers can be used to improve the appearance of a single tooth or all of the front teeth. They are made with either porcelain or a special material known as composite. Although dental veneers do not treat the actual stains on your teeth, they do conceal them quite well.
Veneers are thin covers that are cemented to the surface of your teeth to hide dentin yellowing; however, they can also hide other imperfections, such as small cracks, in your teeth. Veneers can last up to a decade or more; however, you will need to take good care of them and see your dentist regularly.
Dental veneers can chip and fall off of your teeth. To lower this risk, avoid chewing hard foods with your front teeth and refrain from biting your nails. In addition, wear a mouth guard when playing sports or riding your bike to lower your risk of veneer damage should you sustain a traumatic injury to your mouth.
Your cosmetic dentist may also recommend tooth bonding to hide the yellowing discoloration of your dentin. During the bonding process, the dentist applies a resin material to the discolored teeth to hide staining and other imperfections.
After the resin material has been applied to your teeth, your cosmetic dentist will harden the material by using a special light. This helps the resin bond to the surfaces of your natural teeth. Like veneers, bonding resin can chip, and because of this, you should refrain from chewing ice and avoid using your teeth to open wrappers and other items.
If your dentin is exposed and has caused your teeth to appear yellow, make an appointment with your cosmetic dentist. After your examination, he or she will suggest a treatment plan to best suit your needs.