Chandler Dentist 85286: Shumway Dental Care Family, Cosmetic

White Teeth - an Indication of Good Dental Health?

09 Feb, 2021 whitening

Woman smiling with white teeth.

A bright, white smile is the ultimate goal for many dental patients. People tend to associate whiter teeth with youthfulness and better oral health. The preference for whiter teeth is one of the reasons why tooth whitening procedures are among our most requested services.

Having a nice set of pearly whites works wonders for your appearance. You’ll want to smile more and feel more confident talking to other people. While whiter teeth are desirable, they don’t always reflect upon your overall oral health. Taking a deeper look at your dental care needs helps you keep your smile as healthy as it looks.

Do White Teeth Indicate Good Dental Health?

When Are White Teeth a Concern?

Woman checking teeth in the mirror.

There are times when white teeth can indicate a developing dental problem. A white spot often indicates that minerals were lost from the enamel. This tends to happen from acid erosion. 

Eating or drinking too many acidic foods can cause the enamel to break down. If we catch this early, then lifestyle changes can stop the problem from getting worse.

Overuse of at-home teeth whitening problems can contribute to tooth enamel loss. Some over-the-counter products are too harsh for your teeth. Or, you might accidentally leave the solution on too long. Professional tooth whitening services brighten teeth while being gentler on your tooth enamel.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening items.

Once the enamel is gone, it doesn’t grow back. Fluoride treatments can strengthen the remaining enamel. Dental bonding or a filling restores white spots when the decay extends below the surface.

Are Yellow Teeth a Sign of Poor Oral Hygiene?

Healthy teeth fall within a range of white shades. Your teeth might have a slight yellow tint if the underlying dentin shows through the enamel. This is often caused by genetics or events that happened while your teeth were developing.

Teeth in older adults tend to get yellower with age. This is a natural part of the enamel getting thinner. If this occurs with sensitivity, then you may need dental treatments to restore your comfort.

Certain foods and drinks can stain your teeth deeper than your toothbrush can reach. Your teeth are porous and can pick up pigment from foods like soda and berries. Stain removal is a benefit that you get from a professional teeth cleaning.

Can White Teeth Hide Other Dental Problems?

A set of sparkling teeth is only as healthy as the foundation that they rest on. Gum health can be poor, even when your teeth look beautiful.

Swollen and bleeding gums are signs of gingivitis. If early gum disease progresses, then you can also lose teeth that look healthy and white. This is because your teeth are held in place by your gums and ligaments that lie beneath the surface.

Gum disease is easily identified during routine dental exams. Most instances of gum disease improve with special cleaning procedures. Medication can also be prescribed to eliminate the infection beneath your gum line and keep your teeth in place.

Checking out your smile in the mirror is a great way to get an idea of how your teeth and gums are doing. Seeing changes in the color of the enamel is a sign that you may need to brush better or adjust your diet. 

As you do your part at home, remember to plan for your regular dental checkups. We can look beneath the surface and make sure that your oral health matches your smile’s appearance.