The appearance of brown spots on someone’s teeth is very common. While most people refer to such irregular colored patches on one’s teeth as spots, these brown spots can also appear as brown lines or irregular, mottled areas.
Brown spots on teeth can range in appearance from yellowish light brown to dark brown. Discoloration, while always astray from white or white-yellow, is never uniform. Sometimes the spots might be closer to the color of chocolate or coffee, and in certain cases, they can look dark brown or nearly black.
Many people have experienced this discoloration of the teeth, and it is not the fault of the person experiencing discoloration, however, it can indicate damage or tooth disease. Therefore, seeking out a dentist for professional advice is recommended.
Brown spots might also be referred to as “stains” on teeth. But not to fear, stains are not always permanent when referring to dental care. In many situations, discoloration and brown spots can be treated.
Causes of Brown Spots on Teeth
There are many factors that can lead to the discoloration of the teeth.
Food/drink consumption. Enjoying dark-colored, sugary, or starchy foods is part of life’s joys. Occasionally, consuming such foods can cause staining of the enamel. Drinking excessive coffee, tea, soda or wine can cause brown spots to appear. Foods high in sugar, such as candy or soda, and foods high in starch, such as potatoes and pasta, can also stain or chip away at the enamel. Dark berries can stain teeth and highly acidic citric juices might also damage the enamel on teeth.
Tartar build up. Plaque, or tartar, is a build-up of food particles, bacteria, and saliva in the mouth. While this build up is normal, it is typically reduced through brushing one’s teeth and flossing. These important daily habits prevent excessive tartar build up. When plaque is not continuously removed via oral hygiene, tartar can cause brown spots and discoloration. Controlling tartar buildup is more challenging if someone is having hormonal changes (like in pregnancy), has severe illness, is bedridden, has diabetes, or has AIDS.
Tooth decay. When a person is unable to prevent tartar buildup or obtains a tooth infection, tooth decay can occur. This is the process of enamel and tooth breakdown by acid-producing bacteria. Such decay can lead to brown spots and should immediately be evaluated by a dentist to prevent further damage or worse infection.
Fluorosis. Excessive fluoride can sometimes lead to brown spots or streaks on the teeth, especially in children who are under 8 years old. This discoloration is most often mild and treatable.
Tobacco products. All products containing tobacco or nicotine can lead to discoloration of the teeth. Smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, using pipe tobacco, or smoking cigars can lead to particle build-up on the teeth that can cause brown spots.
Enamel hypoplasia. Some people naturally have less enamel protection than others, which is a condition called enamel hypoplasia. A deficiency in calcium, premature birth or birth injury, exposure to toxins, exposure to viruses, malnutrition, or genetics can lead to enamel hypoplasia. If a person lacks enamel, it is easier to obtain brown spots.
Medications. Occasionally, antibiotics, specifically Tetracycline, can lead to brown spots on the teeth. Antibiotics should never be stopped abruptly and should always be finished to their full course unless an allergy is discovered. Report any medication use to your dentist, and if a medication that could cause brown spots is reported, treatment for tooth discoloration can be arranged.
Aging. As people age, it is natural for teeth enamel to age, too. Such aging can lead to yellowing, and even browning of spots on the teeth. This is a harmless cause but can be treated.
Celiac disease or other gastrointestinal issues. Some gastrointestinal deficiencies and celiac disease can cause tooth decay or damaged enamel, also potentially leading to brown spots on teeth.
Treatments for Brown Spots on Teeth
Over-the-counter whitening strips or sticks. Be careful not to overuse whitening products because they might strip enamel when overused
LED Whitening kits that use LED lights to help whiten teeth
Daily brushing and flossing of one’s teeth. This is enhanced by using whitening toothpaste and regularly replacing one’s toothbrush
Brush one’s teeth every few days with a mixture of baking soda and water, on top of regular brushing and flossing routine
Sealing and composite bonding of one’s tooth enamel
The patients at Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus, OH are welcomed at any time for the above-mentioned professional teeth whitening or stain removal treatments.
Reasons to Seek Professional Treatment
Some patients might choose to seek out professional treatment for the benefits of having experts clean or remove stains from their teeth. The dental team at Lifetime Dental Health enjoys performing this smile-restoring task for our patients.
In other cases, it is important for patients to book an appointment to evaluate brown spots that are accompanied by tooth pain or sensitivity.
While brown spots are often harmless, if a person develops any of the below symptoms, they should consider seeking out dental care. These symptoms might be a sign of a tooth infection or tooth decay:
Tooth sensitivity, especially to hot or cold foods
Malodorous or unpleasant breath
Gum irritation, sensitivity, or pain
Canker or cold sores
If you would like professional treatment of teeth discoloration, or believe you might have a tooth infection,contact us here at Lifetime Dental Health. Our team will happily assess any brown spots or answer questions about your dental health at a dental clinic appointment.
Over time, your teeth begin to lose their color or may become stained, from what you eat or drink such as wine, tomato sauce, and coffee. Many people believe the only way to get a bright, white smile is through expensive dental visits with professional whitening products. While professional teeth whitening at the dentist can get you optimal whitening results, there are at-home alternatives as well. Below are the best teeth-whitening products available today.
Whitening toothpaste does not bleach the teeth as professional treatment would do but rather removes the discolored surface area using mildly abrasive ingredients. Many whitening kinds of toothpaste contain things such as peroxide, baking soda, activated charcoal, and more.
Using whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive way to achieve a brighter smile as many of the most used brands are $10 or less per tube. It is important to know that the overuse of whitening toothpaste containing peroxide can permanently damage or destroy the natural collagen on your teeth.
An electric toothbrush is much more effective in comparison to a manual toothbrush at removing surface stains from your teeth. Oscillating toothbrushes are often better compared to others but can come with a higher price tag.
Electric toothbrushes range anywhere from $8 all the way to $300 depending on the brand and feature it offers. Many electric toothbrushes ranging from $20-$30 are effective in removing surface stains.
Many whitening strips are clear stips containing a hydrogen peroxide-based gel. In just a few weeks you will notice a significant difference in the color of your teeth. Whitening strips are often sold in sets, one strip for both the bottom and the top teeth.
Whitening strips are relatively inexpensive, especially in comparison to professional whitening treatment, as they are often available starting at approximately $10 and up depending on things like the brand and strength. The strips are designed to be left on for up to 30 minutes, again, depending on the brand.
Teeth-whitening strips are made both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic whitening is the actual bleaching of the teeth to change the enamel color, most commonly with hydrogen peroxide. While extrinsic whitening uses a mild abrasive, such as activated charcoal, to remove stains from the outer surface of the teeth, making them appear more white, but not actually changing the color.
Whitening Gel Tray
Another commonly used teeth whitening practice is the use of a whitening gel tray. These gel trays yield the best, longest-lasting results of the most available whitening methods.
The tray is custom-made and fitted specifically for you by your dentist by using a mold of your teeth. Your whitening tray can be used as long as you have it, given your teeth do not significantly shift.
To use this whitening gel tray you will purchase a gel to be used at home. To ensure the life of the gel it is best kept in the refrigerator. To use the tray at home, remove the gel from the refrigerator and squirt it into the tray. Place the tray on your teeth ensuring the gel does not touch your gums. The whitening tray can be left on anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on your teeth sensitivity and personal preference. It is important that you do not use the whitening gel tray overnight as it can lead to extreme sensitivity.
Professional Teeth Whitening
A professional teeth whitening session is often performed in a dentist’s office. These visits often take longer than at-home whitening treatments, however, the results are typically better than you will receive from at-home treatments. Professional teeth whitening takes several sessions to healthily achieve a bright, white smile.
At a professional teeth whitening appointment, a high concentration of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide will be applied to your teeth, typically several times throughout the duration of your appointment. Your dentist will often finish up your treatment using a UV light to accelerate the reaction of the whitening treatment.
Professional teeth whitening does not just change the color of the surface of the tooth. With professional whitening treatments, you can whiten your teeth from the inside out. You will see a noticeable difference in the color of your teeth with just one treatment, although it is still recommended to follow through with 1-3 appointments for optimal results.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Lifetime Dental Health
Whether you are currently whitening your teeth, or are looking into professional teeth whitening, it’s important to remember that you must keep up with routine dental appointments and good oral hygiene. It is recommended to see a dentist for a routine cleaning and a checkup every 6 months.
Many patients want to see a whiter and brighter smile when they look in the mirror. Dingy and stained teeth can hold you back from feeling self-confident.
Whether you have a big event to attend like a school reunion or wedding, or just want a nicer-looking smile for your daily life, teeth whitening is a wonderful way to feel more fabulous.
“Regular” folks see movie stars with dazzling smiles and think they must be the only ones who can look so spectacular. It’s not the case.
Teeth whitening can make nearly anyone’s smile look just as stunning, and here at Lifetime Dental Health, we have in-office and at-home options that can vastly improve your smile.
Here’s what you need to know about teeth whitening and if you may be a good candidate. With some information, you can make a smart choice and see that gleaming smile you have always wanted.
How Do I Know if I’m a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
If your teeth aren’t as white as you’d like them to be, that’s a start. If your teeth are stained, discolored, or just dull, teeth whitening can make them whiter and brighter.
Yellowish, orange-tinged, or even brownish teeth can be improved with teeth whitening. Grayish stains don’t always whiten up as much, but some improvement can be achieved.
Your teeth may not be stained terribly, but as we eat and age, color changes happen. A teeth whitening treatment can turn things around and give you that stellar smile you’ve been missing.
Those who may not be good candidates are people with periodontal disease or eroded enamel. People with sensitive teeth may not be able to tolerate the process. We’ll assess your situation during your consultation.
What Can Cause My Teeth to Stain or Become Discolored?
As mentioned above, time can be a culprit. As we get older, our teeth may start to discolor or lose their shine. But there are other things we do regularly that contribute to staining or discoloration.
What we eat and drink makes a real difference. Some foods and drinks can stain the enamel, and over time, the color won’t get “brushed off” as it seeps in.
Some foods and drinks to avoid or limit to prevent staining and discoloration include dark berries, chocolate, tomato-based soups and sauces, red wine, coffee, tea, and cola. Of course, moderation is key, so if you love your coffee, have a cup every once in a while.
Other things can cause staining or discoloration. Certain medications like tetracycline may have an unwanted effect on the teeth. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing this and to find out if there is something else you can take in its place if this is a concern for you.
Smoking is a big no-no for many reasons, one of them being aesthetic. Tobacco stains the teeth, so if you need another reason to kick the habit, there you go.
Fluorosis can be an issue too. When teeth are overexposed to fluoride early in life as the permanent teeth are forming, discoloration can endure.
Does Lifetime Dental Health Offer In-Office Whitening?
We offer in-office whitening at Lifetime Dental Health, and just one visit can do the trick. Unlike store-bought strips and trays you can get over-the-counter, our teeth whitening procedure works better, more efficiently, and the results last longer. Plus, we ensure your safety and comfort as we get your teeth multiple shades whiter. The process is painless and doesn’t take too long. You’ll walk out of your appointment with a beautiful smile that you’ll want to show everyone!
For those who prefer to do the whitening at home, we can supply you with trays which you can use comfortably in the privacy of your own home. This process will take longer, as you’ll need to wear them for several days (perhaps longer if you have sensitive teeth and can’t keep them on for a long stretch), but the results will be worth the effort.
How Long Will the Results of Teeth Whitening Last?
Every person’s results will be different. Some people have the same level of whiteness for as long as three years. Others see fading after a few months. Generally speaking, those who are diligent about their dental care and don’t consume foods or drinks that are known to stain will see longer-lasting results. When it’s time for a touch-up, you know who to turn to.
Are You Ready to See a Whiter Smile?
If you’re interested in teeth whitening, please feel free to contact us at Lifetime Dental Health so we can set you up with a consultation.
If you have any questions or concerns, we will be more than happy to address them. Your peace of mind and overall confidence in our team is important to us.
We look forward to seeing you soon and giving you a smile that could light up a room.
The holidays are upon us, and they represent the time of the year to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. That’s why now is the ideal time to learn about how cosmetic dentistry can get you the perfect smile for the holidays. You’ll want to reconnect with your loved ones without having to worry about the imperfections that have affected your smile over time.
Cosmetic dentistry, like the options that Lifetime Dental Health offers our patients, is the ideal way to elevate your pearly whites just in time for the holidays.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the broad term for any number of procedures that improve the aesthetics of your smile. If your smile is discolored, has alignment issues or gaps, or if your teeth are chipped, broken, or otherwise damaged, cosmetic dentistry procedures can go a long way in rebuilding your smile back to what it used to be.
Over time, constant use of your teeth and other factors can wear down despite your best efforts to maintain good dental health. Chipped or broken teeth can also happen suddenly in accidents, necessitating cosmetic dental procedures to put your smile back the way it was.
One myth is that cosmetic dentistry is a vanity procedure. There is nothing vain about wanting to improve the look and feel of your smile. The perfect smile can boost your mental health — as well as the comfort of your bite and teeth.
What kinds of procedures does cosmetic dentistry include?
There are a number of different dental procedures that fall into the realm of cosmetic dentistry. They include:
Teeth whitening – You might be surprised just how big of a difference whitening your teeth can make when it comes to getting the perfect smile. Especially for people who are daily coffee drinkers or have other teeth-staining habits, like wine and tobacco use, teeth discoloration can occur over time until you have an unsightly smile. In-office whitening procedures are highly effective, or your dentist can provide you with at-home steps to take to turn up your smile’s wattage in as little as two weeks. There are also a number of over-the-counter gels, strips, and pastes available for use, though they are not as immediately effective as those provided by your dentist.
Veneers – Veneers are shells that are customized to fit your teeth and boost your smile. They are molded from porcelain or resin, depending on your preference and price point, and are highly effective at improving the aesthetics of your smile. Veneers can fix everything from color to shape of your teeth. One drawback to veneers is the expense. Lifetime Dental Health is pleased to offer LUMINEERS, a veneer solution that cuts down the long wait of traditional veneers. You can have a brand new smile in as few as two office visits with this procedure.
Bonding – Dental bonding is when resin is shaped to correct an issue with your existing tooth, then hardened using light to bond to the tooth. It is then shaped and polished to look indistinguishable from its surrounding teeth. Bonding is a wonderful option for chips, cracks, and damages due to decay. It is a quick procedure at an affordable price.
Crowns – Crowns protect cracked, broken, or weak teeth with a sturdy cap that can be made from metals, porcelain, resin, or ceramic materials. The price depends on the material, location of the crown in your mouth, and severity of the issue the crown is correcting. CEREC crowns are wonderful options for these procedures since they can be done in a single office visit instead of over several appointments like traditional crowns. CEREC crowns offer swift dental solutions that are durable and comfortable.
Contouring – Dental contouring works with your existing enamel, making minor changes to the shape and polish to correct the look and feel of your teeth. This is ideal for instant results and painless procedures.
Braces – Braces are dental tools used to fix the alignment of your teeth over time. With today’s technology, there are a number of comfortable and convenient options, including traditional metal braces, affordable and discreet clear aligners, and the premiere Invisalign system. With clear aligners, patients can expect a brand new smile within a year.
Bridges – Bridges offer permanent or removable options to replace missing teeth. They are a great way to restore your speaking and chewing — along with your confidence.
What cosmetic procedures does Lifetime Dental Health offer?
At Lifetime Dental Health, we’re proud to offer all of the above cosmetic dentistry procedures. If you have a question about what kind of procedure would be best for the needs of your smile, we’re happy to help. Just give us a call at (614) 333-9442 or ask one of the team members at your next appointment.
Most people want to have a bright, white and polished smile, but are not sure how to go about doing so; or they do not think it is possible to have that celebrity smile without paying a celebrity price.
There are several ways people can try to whiten their teeth, such as home whitening strips, toothpaste, whitening kits, and even coconut oil.
Each method varies in price as well as results. Below are more details on how to get the smile you truly want this summer.
What does whitening my teeth involve?
In a nutshell, the process of whitening the teeth consist of removing discoloration and stains from your teeth. The actual details of the process depend on the method you choose.
After the procedure has been completed, it needs to be repeated to maintain your bright polished smile. The frequency of repeating the whitening procedure depends on the whitening method you have chosen.
What causes my teeth to be discolored?
There are several reasons your teeth can experience discoloration. Here is a list of the most common causes of teeth discoloration:
Poor dental hygiene
Tobacco and other drug use
Dark colored drinks/foods
What are some teeth whitening methods?
A few of the most popular options available to help you achieve a whiter smile are whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, coconut oil, whitening kits, and participating in an in-office whitening procedure.
Whitening strips can be purchased at just about any pharmacy or store that sells teeth cleaning products. While the instructions vary depending on the brand you are purchasing, generally the package of the whitening strips contains enough disposable strips to last you one or two weeks.
These strips are attached to your teeth and are worn anywhere from 15-45 minutes a day for one to two weeks. The results can last anywhere from two to four months. The results will depend on if the directions are entirely followed as listed on the package.
This process is a DIY process and does not require the supervision of a dental professional.
Whitening toothpaste is known for repairing the enamel on your teeth while you brush. Repairing/strengthening the enamel makes your teeth stronger, which protect against cracks and stains.
This process also requires you to follow the directions as listed on the packaging, because each brand has different requirements. Some whitening toothpaste has a limit on how often you can use it while others will allow you to use it daily.
Some people want to find more natural ways to whiten their teeth; coconut oil is one of those options. You put a bit of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for about one to two minutes.
The objective is for the oil to trap the bacteria, so once you spit out the coconut oil, the bacteria is also expelled. The oil itself makes your teeth slick, which makes it harder for stains to stick to your teeth. This method is also known as an oral detoxification method.
The next two whitening methods are offered at the practice.
The at-home whitening kits, also known as tray whitening, consist of a take-home whitening procedure that is entirely supervised by your dentist. Our practice will gather your teeth impressions to make a custom mouth guard or tray which will contain the whitening agents needed for the whitening process. The mouth guards can be worn while you are sleeping or awake; they are incredibly lightweight and will not interrupt your day to day actives. So you will be able to whiten your smile while you work, talk, and even exercise!
This method generally takes three to six weeks to complete. You will see a more gradual and controlled change to the color of your teeth with this method.
In-office teeth whitening
This whitening procedure is usually the fastest option available. This procedure is completed by your dentist while in the office, and can often be completed in one sitting. Although the process takes a fraction of the time compared to other methods, it is still completely safe and very effective. Most people do not have to come back for touch ups until sometime between the 8-12 month timeframe.
Many people choose this option over the others because it takes significantly less time to complete and lasts much longer than the other whitening options.
Can I afford to have my teeth whitened?
The simple answer is yes!
It is true, dental care can be expensive, but don’t forget that neglecting your teeth will be more costly in the long run.
Our practice accepts at least nine different insurance types that will cover or assist in covering most services.
Are you without insurance?
No worries – our practice also offers options for families and individuals without insurance — it is called the “In-House Dental Savings Plan.” For a monthly fee, you receive bi-annual cleanings, doctor exams, and x-rays. On top of that, any treatment, including cosmetic services receive a 15% discount!
So look no further and wait no more; stop by for a consultation and be on your way to a more confident and radiant smile this summer, without breaking the bank! Call Lifetime Dental Health today at (614) 321-1895.
Are you unhappy with your smile? Do you have a chipped tooth or excessive discoloration that stops you from wanting to show your smile to the world? Life is too short to live with a smile that you are not proud of and ready to show off. At Lifetime Dental Health, we are committed to helping you create the smile that you have always wanted, which is why we offer these cosmetic dentistry options:
One of the biggest things our patients want in terms of cosmetic dentistry is a whiter smile. Your smile is the very first thing that people notice about you and a white, shiny smile can help you make a lasting first impression. As we age, our teeth naturally lose their white luster. Additionally, what we eat and drink, as well as habits like tobacco use, can lead to yellow teeth.
To help reverse this discoloration and get your smile to shine again, we offer a couple different teeth whitening treatments. At our practice, we offer in-office whitening treatments that can make your smile look shades whiter with just one visit. We also offer at-home whitening kits with custom bite trays that are filled with a bleaching agent and are used for 3-6 weeks.
However, teeth whitening is not for everyone. If you suffer from gum disease or severely eroded enamel, you may not be a good candidate for this treatment. If you want to learn more about teeth whitening or want our expert opinion on which whitening option is best for you, schedule an appointment to come see us today.
Crooked teeth can be annoying, unsightly, and bad for your bite and jaw. Unfortunately, traditional braces can be distracting, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. If you want a straight, perfect smile without the hassle of metal braces, you may be a good candidate for clear aligners. Clear aligners are custom-made for your mouth and gradually shift your teeth over time, correcting your smile. They are almost undetectable, and will not detract from your smile while you are undergoing treatment.
Clear aligners are worn for most of the day, but they can be removed when you eat or drink. This means that you can still enjoy all of your favorite snacks without having to worry about foods that are too chewy, hard, or sticky like you would with traditional braces. If you want to learn more about teeth straightening with clear aligners, contact our office today! We can schedule a consultation and formulate a treatment plan to help make your smile straight and beautiful in no time.
If you are unhappy with the size, shape, spacing, or color of a specific tooth, you may be a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin ceramic shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They are crafted and color-matched to look like your other teeth. When properly cared for, veneers can last for years and correct a wide array of cosmetic defects.
To prepare your teeth for veneers, we will remove a very small amount of dental enamel from the tooth. We will then use a permanent bonding agent to bond the appliance to your teeth. Veneers are resistant to staining and will help keep your teeth beautiful for years to come. If you are unhappy with the look of one or more of your teeth, ask us about porcelain veneers!
We want you to love your smile, and at Lifetime Dental Health we are here to give you the care you need to make that possible. Come see us today so that we can give you our recommendations for cosmetic dental care! If you want to learn more about any of the options listed above or simply want to set up a consultation, give us a call at (614)-333-9498.