Many people around the globe value a pearly white smile, but is having yellow teeth really something to worry about? Today we dive into the science of the colour of our teeth.
It’s easy to forget what natural teeth look like in a world where tooth whitening is becoming more popular, especially among celebrities and the youth. According to a survey performed by OnePoll on behalf of Snow Teeth Whitening, up to 61 percent of Americans wish they could whiten their teeth.
Despite the fact that many people are concerned about their teeth’s look, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average person only brushes their teeth for 45 to 70 seconds per day, whereas experts actually recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes for each session. When it comes to the appearance of your teeth, maintaining appropriate dental hygiene is extremely crucial.
Without further ado, let us take a look at the science underlying the colour of our teeth in this article. We’ll look at whether having yellow teeth is an indication of bad health and what you can do to make them look better.
So is having yellow teeth a sign of bad health?
Is it true that yellow teeth are a symptom of poor health? To learn more, we must first investigate the composition of our teeth.
First things first, our teeth are actually constructions of three layers. The outermost layer is enamel, which is the toughest component in the human body; the middle layer is dentin, and the innermost layer is pulp. Few individuals recognise that a tooth’s colour comes from the dentin, the central layer of the tooth. Dentin is usually a pale yellow colour, but hues of crimson or amber are also common. Although the enamel layer is relatively transparent, it has the ability to influence the appearance of our teeth. Because the dentin does not penetrate the enamel as quickly in those with thicker enamel, the teeth can and will appear less yellow.
The “colour” of teeth we see is usually determined by the thickness of our enamel rather than the colour of our teeth. Everyone’s enamel and dentin thickness and features vary, therefore teeth might appear in a variety of hues other than white, which is completely normal.
While the colour of teeth may appear different from person to person, most people’s primary teeth appear whiter than their adult teeth. In fact, in several European countries, these primary teeth are also referred to as “milk teeth.” Primary teeth seem whiter because the enamel on an infant’s teeth is thicker, which hides the yellow of the dentin beneath, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine.
In conclusion, yellow teeth are entirely natural, and they aren’t always a symptom of poor oral health. Even if we live a healthy lifestyle, variables beyond our control, like our DNA and the thickness of our dental enamel, can alter the appearance of our teeth. As we become older, our teeth tend to become increasingly yellow. Not only that, our enamel gets thinner and breaks down as we age, allowing more of the interior component(dentin) of the tooth to show through, making our teeth appear yellower or creamier.
Teeth can also get yellowed as a result of staining from certain meals and beverages, such as tea and coffee. Though we have concluded that yellow teeth aren’t always a symptom of poor dental health, they can still indicate that the enamel has deteriorated and the teeth are fragile and susceptible to chipping. Teeth that have been damaged or have dental abscesses may darken over time as the nerve dies away, necessitating treatment. According to a study published in the British Dental Journal, various metabolic diseases are linked to tooth discolouration and the usage of antibiotics like tetracycline. The colour of our teeth might also be influenced by our lifestyle choices. Teeth can turn yellow quickly if you smoke; this staining effect is caused by the tar and nicotine in tobacco.
What to do about it?
While yellow teeth aren’t always unhealthy, the appearance of one’s teeth might have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem. Fortunately, there are things we can do to improve the appearance of our teeth. Maintaining proper dental hygiene is one of, if not the most crucial preventative measure. Brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis, as well as using mouthwash, are all recommended by experts.
Changes in your lifestyle can help you improve the appearance of your teeth. Quitting smoking, as well as reducing consumption of staining foods and beverages like coffee, can make a significant difference in the colour of your teeth.
For more tips on how to whiten your teeth, I recommend reading Healhline’s 6 Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home.
Zack Yong is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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