Q. My teeth are yellow. Is scaling only a temporary process to clean the teeth?

Answered by Dr. Subha and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Image: My teeth are yellow. Is scaling only a temporary process to clean the teeth?

Hello Doctor,

I am 19 years old. My teeth are yellow from childhood (from 10 years of age).

A black layer is formed at the backside of teeth. When I see my teeth it seems very dirty and too much of creamy layer is formed on my teeth especially in lower canines and lower incisors. In the lower teeth, yellowness is 'V' shaped and in upper incisors the creamy layer is much lesser than the lower ones. The creamy layer gets removed by using my nails on that, but toothpowder is not able to remove that yellownees.

I am feeling very sad while seeing my dirty teeth. My molar and premolar teeth have a black spot on them and people told me it is eaten by tooth worm. Is it true that tooth worm damages the teeth?

When I contacted a local doctor he did scaling procedure. Just after scaling procedure, all the yellowness was clear (almost 80%) and black layer at the backside was also clear. I became very happy by seeing this.

But about a month after scaling, my teeth again turned much yellowish and looks very bad and black layer at the backside of teeth also started appearing. Is scaling only a temporary process and is it complete wastage of money?

For clean teeth, is there any permanent thing which will make our teeth very much white and glowing?

Doctor gave me advice that colgate is sufficient for teeth whitening and also said do not use sensodyne toothpaste (which I was using earlier) or any mouthwash like hexidine for white teeth.  Some other doctor suggested me bleaching and glodent toothpaste.

But personally I observed that toothpaste never works on teeth. They are unable to clean teeth and so I am using toothpowder. But toothpowder also does not help in permanent whitening of teeth.

What to do from now for permanent cure which is safe for me and does not have any side effects?

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Dr. Subha

Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yellowing of teeth is mainly due to one of the following or a combination of these:

  1. Tartar or plaque deposits (soft yellowish deposits) on the teeth.
  2. Calculus deposits (calcified hard deposits) on the teeth.
  3. Fluorosis - internal discoloration of the teeth due to altered fluorine content in the drinking water.

You have given an excellent description of the clinical condition of your oral cavity. From your history it is very clear that, the yellowness of your teeth is due to plaque and calculus deposits.

Plaque as you have mentioned is yellowish and creamy. This gets partially removed with brushing.

Calculi are hard deposits either yellowish, greenish or sometimes blackish in color. They are firmly attached to the teeth and do not go off with brushing or tooth powder. Even the abrasiveness of the tooth powder cannot remove the calculi.

During childhood due to improper brushing there are chances of plaque and calculus formation over the teeth. Because children at this age tend to be playful and do not concentrate on oral hygiene.

"Tooth worms" as people say are nothing but bacteria that affect the teeth. These bacteria act on the teeth and cause demineralization of the teeth and lead to tooth decay and cavities.

The lower incisors and canines are more prone to plaque and calculus deposition (v shaped deposition in accordance with the tooth morphology) due to inability of us to reach the inner sides of these teeth while brushing.

At this age of yours, these deposits may be due to:

  1. Improper brushing technique.
  2. Brushing only once a day.
  3. Malalignment of your teeth.
  4. Crowding of your teeth (due to inadequate spacing in between the teeth).
  5. If you are having any prosthetic teeth (crown, bridge, removable appliances).
  6. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment (wire braces).

Dental scaling is the procedure that removes plaque and calculi. But it does not mean that these deposits will not come back again. Continuous oral hygiene maintenance after scaling is mandatory to prevent recurrence of plaque and calculi. Hence, scaling is not a wastage of money, it is an investment to prevent one's teeth and gums from infections and thereby increase the life of the teeth. So, a permanent solution for your problem is to follow these steps to maintain oral hygiene:

  1. Brush with toothpaste and brush twice daily. The head of the toothbrush should be angulated in such a way that it reaches all the teeth and all the interior and hidden parts of the teeth.
  2. Use an antibacterial mouthwash only for the time period for which the dentist has prescribed. Because long term use of mouthwash itself will cause staining of teeth.
  3. Rinse your mouth thoroughly soon after every meal.
  4. In case you are wearing wire braces or prosthesis, use the specific tooth brushes (orthodontic toothbrushes) to clean the teeth thoroughly well.
  5. Use interdental toothbrushes to clean the minute spaces in between the teeth.
  6. Visit a dentist once in every 6 months and get a scaling done if necessary.
    • As your doctor has told, regular use of colgate toothpaste is sufficient.
    • Sensodyne toothpaste is not needed for you since it is used for hypersensitive teeth.
    • Glodent toothpaste helps in stain removal and it can be used if extrinsic stains are present on the teeth. It does cause teeth whitening.
    • Regular use of mouthwash is not essential. You can use hexidine mouthwash for about two weeks and then stop it.
    • Bleaching is the procedure used to remove internal or intrinsic staining of the teeth which is not required for you.

And finally, pearl white color of the teeth indicate that they are unhealthy. Teeth which are slightly yellow, without any deposits on them are said to be healthy.

Hope this answer helps you. Consult a dentist online for further follow up --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dentist

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