Why Do Our Teeth Get Darker With Age?

October 10, 2018

Why Do Our Teeth Get Darker With Age?

Unfortunately, as we age our teeth age too. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth, it’s inevitable that over time our teeth will discolour. So why is this? And what can we do to try to fight it?


Tooth discolouration is a natural effect of aging. This is because as we get older, our enamel gradually wears away. Tooth enamel is the hard exterior layer of our teeth. This works to protect our teeth against stains, sensitivity and protects from decay. It’s the hardest exterior in our body. Unfortunately, unlike most of our body parts, our enamel cells do not have the power to regenerate or grow back. Hence, why as we age so do our teeth. As our enamel fades, the second, darker layer of our tooth, dentin will begin to show through. This can make our teeth look more yellow or grey instead of white.


It’s also no secret that as we get older, if we aren’t whitening our teeth, naturally our teeth will become increasingly stained as we expose them to foods and drinks. As discussed in our previous blog, teeth are like sponges they absorb all of the food we consume, staining our teeth and causing discolouration. So, of course, the longer we live, the more food and drink we expose to our teeth and in turn, our teeth will become increasingly stained.


As you can tell, it certainly becomes increasingly difficult to keep our teeth looking white as we age as there are many factors working against us. Of course, the rate that our teeth darken will vary. People who expose their teeth to less staining substances i.e. stay away from cigarettes, coffee and red wine have higher chances of maintaining their lighter coloured teeth. The same goes for people who look after their teeth, clean them both morning and night and do what they can to prevent the erosion of enamel. Whilst people who wear their enamel down, whether it’s through having a habit of chewing on hard things or if you have suffered from grinding or bruxism, will have a higher chance of discoloured teeth.


Perhaps this is why the trend for teeth whitening is forever growing. As whilst there is little us humans can do to prevent the natural effects of aging, we can seek the help of certain products! Effective teeth whitening using hydrogen peroxide works to reverse the effects of tooth staining and discolouration. As the hydrogen peroxide will work to clean and bleach the staining on the surface of the teeth. If the teeth whitening method is truly effective it will seep into the deep layers of the tooth for optimal and long-lasting results. However, this requires the gel to be held close to the teeth for extended periods of time (60-90 minutes) and consistently for up to 7 days.