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19301 8th Avenue NE
Poulsbo, WA 98370-8773
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"What can I do to combat tooth discoloration?"
We see many adults who struggle with tooth discoloration and are hesitant to show off their pearly whites when they smile. Once we identify the cause of your tooth discoloration, there are effective treatment options we can happily provide that can restore the whiteness of your teeth, as well as your confidence.
So, what causes tooth discoloration?
Good question. There are a number of reasons why teeth become discolored. While some are under your control, other reasons are not so preventable. Here are common reasons why teeth become discolored.
- Genetics: Much of your dental health is determined by genetic factors that are beyond your control. Some people naturally have thinner enamel or discolored teeth.
- Medical Conditions: Genetic conditions known as amelogenesis or dentinogenesis are responsible for improper development of the enamel, which leads to yellowed, discolored teeth.
- Poor Dental Hygiene: Failing to brush your teeth at least twice a day, as recommended, or regularly floss may lead to tooth decay and discoloration.
- Medications: Several medications lead to tooth discoloration as a side effect. If you received the common antibiotics doxycycline or tetracycline as a child, your teeth may have discolored as a consequence. Antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic drugs can also contribute to discolored teeth. If you think a medication may be leading to tooth discoloration, give us a call. That said, you should never discontinue the use of a medication without consulting your doctor first.
- Foods and Tobacco: Consumption of certain foods such as coffee, tea, wine, or soda can cause tooth discoloration. The use of tobacco can also cause teeth to turn yellow or brown.
Irrespective of the cause, there are a variety of treatment options available to address discolored teeth. One of the most effective ways to reduce tooth discoloration is through prevention. One good way to start is to avoid drinking red wine, coffee or and stop using tobacco products. If you drink beverages that tend to leave stains, we encourage you to brush your teeth immediately or at least swish with water after you finish the drink to diminish staining.
After determining the cause of tooth discoloration during your appointment, we can also suggest other proactive treatment options. Over-the-counter whitening agents might help, but in-office whitening treatments provided at our office or for home use can be more effective. When whitening agents do not help, bondings or veneers are alternative solutions for tooth discoloration.
If you are worried about your teeth turning yellow or brown, think carefully about your diet and medication use. Talk to us first to identify foods or substances that may be causing the problem and let’s discuss treatment options we may offer to undo the damage to your teeth’s color. After treatment for tooth discoloration, you will have a healthy white smile you can be proud to show off.
Early detection is key to treating oral cancer
The fact is, every hour of every day, someone in the United States dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved over the past decades.
This grim statistic may make you think that oral cancer is a particularly deadly form, when in fact the high death rate has more to do with how late in its development oral cancer is detected. The symptoms of oral pathology are often so subtle in the early stages that routine screening is the key to early detection and survival. In our continuing efforts to provide the most advanced technology and highest quality care, we proudly screen our patients for oral cancer.
Are you at risk for oral cancer?
Anyone can develop oral cancer, but some people are at a higher risk. These high-risk groups include those over the age of 50 and men, who are twice as likely as women to develop the disease. Smoking or chewing smokeless tobacco products, consuming alcohol excessively and constant exposure to the sun at a young age are also risk factors.
How is oral cancer detected?
We suggest our patients perform a monthly self-examination to check for unusual red or white patches, sores, lumps or thickenings anywhere inside the mouth, on the lips or in the throat and neck area.
We encourage you to give us a call if you find any of these symptoms or if you have trouble swallowing or experience a chronic sore throat and hoarseness. During your visit, we will inspect the oral tissues and neck to determine if abnormalities are present.
What happens if oral cancer is detected?
If abnormal tissues are discovered during your visit, a biopsy will be required. The results from the biopsy will be sent to a laboratory to determine if the cells are cancerous or precancerous. If a diagnosis of cancer is made, surgery, as well as treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation may be necessary. We will work closely with your oncologist and other members of your medical team to ensure that you achieve the best possible oral health and functioning both during and after treatment.
Finding out you have oral cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk. Through a routine visual inspection, we can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more successful, and can potentially save your life. Ask us about a screening during your next visit!
February is American Heart Month. It's true-a healthy mouth is a healthy heart!
Dr. Peterson was neamed one of the Top Dentist in the Seattle Metropolitan magazine for 2014!!
Don’t Wait for a Toothache
Cavities occur as a result of the destruction of tooth structure, a process called tooth decay. Tooth decay can affect both the enamel (the outer coating of the tooth) and the dentin (the inner layer of the tooth). While daily brushing and flossing helps remove food particles and plaque, a regular cleaning and checkup at our office is the best way to help avoid cavities.
During your dental cleaning and checkup, we can diagnose if you already have a cavity. Early stages of tooth decay may not be noticeable, so don’t wait for a toothache to get a checkup! Potential cavities can be identified when the tooth surface feels soft when probed with a dental instrument, and X-rays can help confirm decay that is not visible to the eye. In advanced stages of tooth decay, you might experience a toothache or increased sensitivity, especially after consuming sweet, hot, or cold foods or drinks. Other signs of tooth decay are visible pits or holes in the teeth.
Remember, tooth decay is a progressive disease. The longer you wait to treat a cavity, the more extensive your treatment will be. A small cavity can be treated with a filling, but larger cavities can actually weaken the structure of your tooth, and can require more invasive (and expensive) treatments like an inlay, onlay, or a crown. Significant decay can cause the nerve or pulp of the tooth to die, and a root canal or tooth extraction may be your only options.
If you think you may have a cavity, or if you have not been seen by our hygienists or visited the dentist for over 6 months, we invite you to contact our office right away and schedule an appointment. Our team will make sure you leave with a healthy, pain-free smile! 360-779-3958