You already know how effective teeth whitening can be when it comes to brightening yellow teeth. However, you may think there is nothing you can do about teeth that have a gray appearance. Just because your teeth are gray does not mean you are stuck with them, as modern whitening treatments now make it possible to eliminate this condition once and for all.
Causes of Gray Teeth
A loss in tooth enamel often brings about gray teeth. As you age, the enamel naturally becomes thinner, allowing more of the inner tooth to show through. Tooth enamel may also erode if you drink too much soda or consume lots of acidic foods. Lost tooth enamel cannot grow back, leaving you without the pearly white covering you once enjoyed.
Another common cause for gray teeth is tetracycline, a type of antibiotic often given to children. When taken while teeth are still forming, tetracycline can be absorbed by the teeth, leaving them with a permanent gray stain. Expectant mothers may also pass this condition on to their children if they take tetracycline while pregnant.
Tooth decay or damage to the tooth can disable the nerves, diminishing the blood supply and resulting in a grayish appearance. A root canal could be required to correct damage and prevent dead pulp from further penetrating the dentin.
Traditional teeth whitening methods were largely ineffective at eliminating gray teeth. However, a relatively recent innovation known as KöR Whitening now makes it possible to bleach them.
KöR Whitening uses a special KöR-Seal™ tray that keeps saliva and other fluids from deactivating the whitening gel. This allows the gel to work longer, effectively removing stains that were previously untreatable. The KöR method also uses sodium perborate, a substance that accelerates the whitening process when combined with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Teeth whitening in addition to pulp bleaching can often be used together to eliminate gray teeth that form after a root canal. During a root canal, pulp from inside the teeth is permanently removed, essentially leaving an empty chamber. Placing a bleaching agent into this chamber can whiten dentin so that teeth appear a more natural color.
Dental Crowns and Veneers
Teeth that have become severely stained can typically be whitened with crowns and/or veneers. Dental crowns are caps that are placed over top of the teeth, and closely match their natural color. These are an excellent option for teeth that appear dark due to metal fillings.
Veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are placed over top of your natural teeth to provide a more dazzling smile. An advantage to veneers is that they not only whiten your teeth, but may also be used to correct issues such as broken, chipped, or missing teeth, as well as minor issues with misalignment.
Just because you are plagued with gray teeth does not mean you are destined to live with them forever. A number of solutions are available here at Bright Dentistry, which is why we encourage you to schedule an appointment right away.