Retain teeth and lip color
We often tend to neglect our dental health, but most of us are concerned about the appearance of our lips and teeth because of their aesthetic value. Your teeth and lips can greatly alter your appearance, either working to enhance or diminish your beauty. Everyone wants to have the perfect teeth and lips, as these features affect their smile and their overall appearance. Unfortunately, there are many factors that could have an adverse effect on your teeth and lips, causing them to lose their natural color. Discoloration of the teeth and the lips is a fairly common problem, faced by many people, especially those who consume large amounts of coffee each day, or those who smoke cigarettes. Dental discoloration can be divided into three categories that include intrinsic discoloration, extrinsic discoloration and age-related discoloration. Fortunately, in most instances changes in lip and teeth color are not a major cause for concern. Moreover, there are many ways by which you can keep your lips and teeth from losing their color.
Symptoms of Tooth and Lip Discoloration
One of the first signs of tooth and lip discoloration is the presence of stains on the enamel. However, over a period of time, you may notice other symptoms too, especially if you happen to be a smoker. Given below are some of the common signs and symptoms associated with tooth and lip discoloration:
- The presence of whitish streaks or yellow tints on the teeth. In some cases, these could be accompanied by pits and brown spots too.
- Wearing away of the tooth enamel, because of which the dentin may be visible.
- Inflammation on the roof of the mouth, where the area usually turns red in color and causes a lot of itching, burning and discomfort.
- Delay in the healing of gums
- Tooth decay, which is quite severe
- Chronic halitosis or bad breath
- Deposits of a sticky tar-like substance on the teeth
Causes of Tooth and Lip Discoloration
There are numerous factors that could cause you to lose the color in your lips and teeth, and some of them may be rather worrying. Given below are some of the most common reasons for which your teeth and lips may lose their natural color:
- Cigarette Smoking:
This is one of the most common causes of discoloration. When you smoke, the production of saliva in your body is adversely affected. Saliva production is very important for your dental and oral health, as it cleans the lining of the teeth and the mouth, thereby protecting it from decay. However, if the flow of bile in the blood gets interrupted because of smoking, you will be able to tell due to the appearance of spots on the teeth and the surrounding area.
Consumption of Certain Foods:
You are probably aware of the fact that you could see stains on your teeth, if you drink too much coffee on a regular basis. However, there are several other food items and beverages too that can have the same effect on your teeth. Some of the foods that are known to cause tooth stains, if consumed regularly include coffee, tea, red wine and chocolate. Healthy fruits like cherries, blueberries and pomegranates may also lead to tooth discoloration at times.
- Lack of Dental Hygiene:
In case you do not follow a daily dental routine that comprises of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing once a day and gargling with mouth wash, then you may be prone to tooth discoloration. In most cases, the teeth turn yellowish in color. This is the first sign that you need to incorporate a proper dental hygiene routine, failing which you may soon experience halitosis and tooth decay.
Use of Certain Medicines and Antibiotics:
There are certain antibiotic medications that can cause a child to suffer from tooth discoloration, if administered at a young age. There is also a possibility that if pregnant women use these antibiotics in the third trimester of pregnancy, their children too may suffer from tooth discoloration problems in the future. Certain forms of treatment, like radiation and chemotherapy for the head or neck area can also lead to tooth discoloration problems.
- Genetic Factors:
Your genetic inheritance is the main determinant in various physical attributes and it also influences whether you will have brighter or darker enamel, as compared to others. Loss of lip color can also be heredity.
In case any of the nerves in the area have been adversely affected because of a fall or an injury, you may see some amount of discoloration in the tooth. Lip injuries also lead to dark bruises and discoloration problems.
Remedies to Retain Tooth and Lip Color
There are any ways by which you may be able to retain teeth and lip color for a longer period of time. One of the first steps recommended by most health experts is brushing your teeth after every meal. It is also important to avoid consuming high amounts of those foods that can lead to discoloration. For healthier looking teeth and lips, it is also essential for you to quit the unhealthy practice of smoking, or at least cut down on it to a great extent.
Given below are some of the other widely recommended home remedies to retain teeth and lip color:
- Strawberries: Place around three or four fresh strawberries in a blender and add two teaspoons of baking soda, a cup of water and a teaspoon of cream of tartar to it. Puree all these ingredients to make a fine paste. Apply this paste on to your teeth overnight, for a week each day to help maintain teeth color.
- Almond Oil: With the tip of your finger, dab a small amount of almond oil and cream on to your lips. This helps in moisturizing your lips, reducing the risks of discoloration. If you do smoke, the oil will keep your lips free of nicotine stains. Alternately, you could also apply some cream of milk on to your lips daily, for the same purpose. Some people also apply a small amount of clarified butter on to their lips, just before going to bed, to keep the lips moisturized and soft, all night long.
- Glycerin and Lemon: One of the best ways in which you can retain the color of your lips is by scrubbing them with some fresh lemon. This is because lemon and lemon juice both contain natural bleaching properties. Take a few wedges of fresh lemon and rub them over your lips for a few minutes. Lemon juice however, could have a harsh effect on your lips, which is why you need to first apply a layer of glycerin to your lips. Apply the lemon and glycerin and leave them on for at least 10 minutes or so, before rinsing off.
- Soda Bicarbonate: Before you brush your teeth with normal tooth paste, make it a point to brush your teeth with bicarbonate of soda. This remedy should be used twice a month, preferably once every 15 days or so.
- Water: Every time you eat or drink something that can stain your teeth, take a few sips of water, or rinse your mouth, to cleanse your teeth. You can also do this after you smoke a cigarette. This remedy will keep your teeth cleaner, preventing the appearance of stains. Water will not only help in keeping your teeth free of stains, but will also keep your lips soft and hydrated, which prevents them for getting dry or darker.
While these methods are quite helpful in getting rid of dark colored lips, or stained teeth, it is important to visit a dentist, for teeth cleanups on a regular basis. You can also use a teeth whitening kit to reduce the discoloration at home. However, it is absolutely essential that you consult a dentist before using any type of home bleach for the teeth.
Diet to Retain Tooth and Lip Color
There is no specific diet that you can follow to help retain teeth and lip color. However, in order to prevent your teeth from getting stained or discolored you need to cut down on the consumption of certain foods or eliminate them from your diet altogether. Given below are some of the foods that have been known to lead to discoloration:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Beet root
- Certain varieties of berries
- Coffee and tea (especially black)
- Condiments like soy sauce, tomato ketchup and curries
- Cranberry juice
- Red wine
- Slushes, popsicles, candy, sweets or any other eatable that colors the tongue
- Sport drinks
Some of these foods, like apples, beets and berries are very high in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Therefore, you may not want to eliminate them from your diet. However, every time you consume such foods, make it a point to rinse your mouth using plain water. You could also keep beverages from staining your teeth by using a straw to sip on them.
Suggestions to Retain Tooth and Lip Color
Do bear in mind that if you really wish to make an effort to retain teeth and lip color, it is necessary for you to make a long term and ongoing effort, not temporary measures, as and when you find that discoloration is noticeable. You need to follow a proper dental care and lip care routine on a daily basis, to keep them free of any unsightly stains or marks. It is also important for you to consult your health care provider if your dental care routine does not yield the desired results.
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