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Nicotine from smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco is well known for leaving stains on your teeth. Even electronic cigarettes or vaping can cause teeth discoloration!
And no one wants their teeth to be brown.
So why does nicotine stain so badly? And what can be done to get rid of all the brown stains?
Nicotine affects your mouth in several ways.
Nicotine itself is clear. When it reacts with oxygen, however, it oxidizes and turns brown. This is why any nicotine product can stain your teeth, including vaping.
Chewing tobacco is particularly bad at staining. Not only are you getting the nicotine, but you are also bathing your teeth in the dark brown tannins found in the tobacco leaves.
Teeth are not perfectly smooth. They have tiny pores, much like your skin. They also have small cracks in the enamel.
If you haven’t had them professionally cleaned in a while there is likely a build-up of hardened bacteria, called calculus or tartar. Tooth-colored fillings may also get rough, especially around the edges.
Every one of these rough surfaces can hold onto nicotine stains.
Smoking also causes dry mouth. And dry mouths are places where bacteria can thrive.
On top of that, smoking lowers your ability to fight off infection. Together, this means people who smoke are twice as likely to have gum disease.
When you have gum disease, your gums recede and expose the roots of the teeth. These tooth roots absorb stain deeply. Calculus buildup present in gum disease also holds onto stain.
Exposed roots and calculus buildup are the reason stains often seem worse around the gumlines of the teeth. Stains also build up in hard to clean areas between teeth.
In addition to staining and gum disease, smoking greatly increases your chances of throat and mouth cancer.
Luckily, staining from nicotine can be removed. There are several methods to try at home and others that require a trip to the dentist.
Many at-home treatments for nicotine staining only remove stains on the outsides of the teeth. These are also known as extrinsic stains. They are usually the easiest type of stain to remove.
One popular method is brushing with baking soda or a mix of baking soda and peroxide. Baking soda is a mild abrasive and is good for scratching stains off the outsides of teeth.
When mixed with peroxide, it also helps oxidize stains and lift them away. This is one of several natural ways to whiten stained teeth.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products
Over the counter whitening toothpastes also use mild abrasives. With any abrasive paste, you should limit use to a few times a week. Using them too often can wear away tooth enamel and make teeth look even more yellow.
These methods are great for removing surface stains but do little for staining deeper into the tooth enamel.
If staining is deeper into the teeth, an at-home whitening gel like those available from AuraGlow can help. These powerful gels oxidize stains that are in the pores and cracks of your teeth, leaving them significantly whiter.
There are a few options here.
One of the best ways to remove staining from teeth is to have them professionally cleaned. A dental cleaning removes both surface stains and the tartar buildup that often appears brown. Tooth colored fillings can be smoothed and polished.
It is highly suggested to have a professional cleaning and exam before starting any whitening treatment.
A dentist can also check for signs of gum disease and treat it if it is present. Gum disease causes recession of the gums and bone. This exposes root surfaces that are very prone to staining.
Dentists often offer in-office bleaching or custom teeth whitening trays. These involve gels similar to the ones mentioned above.
In fact, AuraGlow’s carbamide peroxide teeth whitening gel is as strong and effective as those offered in most dental offices.
If tooth discolorations are severe and other treatments don’t seem to work, porcelain veneers are an option. These thin porcelain restorations can change the color and shape of your teeth, giving you a smile like a movie star.
There are drawbacks to porcelain veneers. They are fairly expensive; often running $2000 or more per tooth. It is common to do six to ten veneers to reshape a smile. They also require numbing, multiple visits, and removing a thin layer of tooth enamel.
The first step in preventing nicotine staining is to focus on proper oral hygiene. Knowing how to brush your teeth correctly can remove surface staining and keep it from coming back. Flossing regularly helps prevent stains from occurring between your teeth.
Both brushing and flossing protect against tartar build up. Tartar, or calculus, is very porous and prone to staining.
Additionally, good oral hygiene also helps keep your gums healthy. Having healthy gums puts a stop to gum recession and tooth root exposure.
Regular use of whitening gels is a great way to prevent stains from accumulating. The first rounds of whitener remove existing stains, while further use prevents them from coming back.
Of course, the very best way to prevent nicotine staining is to give up tobacco products altogether. Not only will you keep your teeth from turning brown, but you’ll also be decreasing your chance of cancer, emphysema, COPD, and other health issues.
Here are some pro-tips on how to get the most from your at-home gel:
There are many ways you can achieve a beautiful smile. Whitening your teeth is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make your smile more attractive.
Anyone who smokes or uses tobacco will likely have nicotine staining on their teeth. Luckily, this type of staining is some of the easiest to remove.
Toothpastes and other abrasives do a fair job of removing surface stains but do little to get rid of deeper stains. Cracks and natural pores in tooth enamel tend to hang onto nicotine stain.
To best remove both surface stain and deeper stains, we recommend our AuraGlow Deluxe Home Teeth Whitening System. This system combines a professional strength whitening gel with LED light technology.
This powerful combination can effectively remove nicotine staining and dramatically whiten teeth in as little as 30 minutes a day. It is simply the best at-home whitening product on the market.
Click here to learn more about AuraGlow products and be on your way to a whiter smile today!