It is common for people to approach their dentist when they have a problem with their teeth. If you live in Dublin, there are several Dublin dentists, who can reduce the symptoms of the problem and take steps to prevent their recurrence. However, there are some problems that can be addressed without professional help. One of the problems that people commonly face is yellow or brown appearance of their teeth. In a study, it was found that more than 20 percent people conceal their teeth in their Facebook photos because they are embarrassed by the color of their teeth. Having white sparking teeth is important in our society today – hence the sharp increase in the number of people approaching professionals for whitening treatments.
The most difficult part about having yellow teeth is that no matter how many times you brush your teeth, the stubborn stains don’t go away easily. At times, having brown or yellow tinted teeth can point to a bigger problem such as thinning enamel, unhealthy gums, or poor oral hygiene. In such cases, you must address the root of the problem. For instance, if you have yellow or brown teeth because of some disease, you have to take steps to treat the disease. Simply whitening your teeth will not help.
Most people are under the impression that having white teeth are same as having strong and healthy teeth. This is a misnomer as the color of the teeth has little to do with the strength or the health of the teeth. There are several steps you can take to keep your teeth both white and healthy.
Why do teeth turn brown or yellow?
The color of your teeth changes to brown or yellow because stains develop on both the surface and the structure of your teeth. The outer surface of the tooth is known as the enamel and it protects the teeth from damage. Underneath the enamel is a substance known as dentin. This substance will become more visible when the enamel gets thinner. As you grow old, the enamel becomes thinner and dentin, which is pale brown in color, will become more visible. Loss of enamel may also be due to excessive exposure to chelation and acid. Some of the other reasons why teeth brown or yellow are:
- Excessive drinking of tea or coffee
- Thinning of enamel due to ageing or some other disease
- Smoking cigarettes
- Excessive use of antibiotics
- Eating acidic foods such as soda, cola, and candies
- Dry mouth can reduce the production of saliva. This can reduce enamel protection and cause thinning.
- Breathing through mouth when your nose is blocked, can reduce saliva and prevent enamel remoisturizing
- Excessive intake of fluorides
- Hereditary factors
Foods that can Damage your Teeth
Before we look into the steps you can take to whiten your teeth, here is a brief on some foods you should avoid eating.
One of the causes of yellow tinted teeth could be acidic foods such as tomatoes and certain fruits. Even though fruits and tomatoes are good for your body, they can erode the enamel and expose the dentin.
Tea and Coffee
Your favorite morning tea or coffee can be responsible for yellow teeth. Coffee and tea contain tannins, which can lead to discoloration and staining. Also, since it they are acidic, it alters the pH balance of the mouth, which can make any acidic food you eat after drinking tea or coffee, damage your teeth quickly.
The sugar in your sweets and chocolates can stick to your teeth and become the meal for harmful bacteria in your mouth. When these harmful bacteria feed on the sugar, they release acids that can lead to tooth decay. This will not only damage your teeth and can also lead to decolorization.
Sodas that contain sugar act the same as sweats which contain sugar. This gives bacteria plenty of food to feed off on. Sodas are more harmful than sugar-laden sweets because they contain acids that can damage the enamel. Even if the soda is sugar-free, it is best to avoid them for the health of your teeth.
Some fruits such as pomegranate, blueberries, and blackberries, are rich in antioxidants but also have pigments that can stain your teeth. The simple rule of thumb here is, if you cannot the stains left by these foods on your clothes, how you can possibly remove them from your teeth.
Red and White Wine
If your teeth are grey-tainted, the culprit could be red wine. Grey stains are harder to remove when compared to yellow stains. Red wine also contains tannins, which is responsible for staining and decolorization. Even though red wine cause staining, some amounts of red wine keep our teeth healthy by fighting cavity.
Recent studies have shown that drinking white wine can make the teeth stain darker. While white wine does not stain your teeth, the acid in the wine allow other foods seep deeper into the teeth, which causes staining.
How to Whiten your Teeth Naturally
Brush your Teeth
It may be hard for most people to believe, but brushing your teeth after your meals or after you drink something, is one of the easiest ways of whitening your teeth naturally. Brushing your teeth requires a lot of persistence and patience, as some people may have an erratic eating schedule due to work or school.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent anti-bacterial agent that acts as a gum cleaner by keeping the mouth free of bacteria and germs. You can keep your teeth healthy by using hydrogen peroxide or by mixing it with equal quantities of water, swishing around in the mouth for a minute. Studies have shown that rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide can kill the bad bacteria in the mouth. By killing the bacteria, it prevents gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with small quantities of baking soda. This helps in removing plaque from your teeth. In a study conducted on more than 270 subjects, it was found that using baking soda dentifrices helps in removing plaque significantly when compared to non-baking soda dentifrices.
Before you use these products, you must first brush your teeth normally. Since baking soda is a gritty substance that can act like sandpaper on your teeth, you must mix adequate quantities of soda to prevent the scrubbing of the enamel. Once the enamel is damaged, it will not grow back. So, be very careful when using baking soda on your teeth.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Most people might find it hard to believe, but coconut oil pulling acts a natural teeth whitener. When you use coconut oil after brushing, your teeth become whiter and healthier. Coconut oil has several antibacterial properties that protect your teeth and clean the gums.
Using coconut oil to keep your teeth clean is easy. All, you have to do is put a spoonful of refined coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for amount 10 minutes. You option for those who want to avoid pulling, is applying coconut oil in the corners using a washcloth.
Studies undertaken to analyze the benefits of coconut pulling have found that coconut oil is one of the safest ways of whitening the teeth. It also prevents gum problems and keeps the teeth healthy.
Do genes play a role in affecting the sexual orientation of person? This question was answered when results of two studies revealed that five markers attached to DNA can affect the sexual orientation of a person. However, the results of these studies have been disputed by several researchers. Andrew Gelman, who is a statistician at Columbia University in New York, claimed that the results of the study have been incorrectly presented. This criticism has been disputed by Tuck Ngun who is the co-author of one of the studies. However, he has admitted that the study was underpowered and added that he and his collaborators will soon issue a statement.
The biology of sexual orientation of a person is one of the most hotly debated topics in human genetics. For the first time, studies have found a connection between markers attached to DNA and sexual orientation of a person. However, these markers can be influenced by external environment.
The studies provide strong evidence that genetics can have an impact on the sexual orientation of a person. For instance, when one identical twin is gay, there is a 20 percent chance that the other twin will also be gay. Since this rate is not 100 percent, it is assumed that environmental factors can have an impact on the sexual orientation of a person. An external factor that affects sexual orientation is the ‘Older Brother Effect’. It is believed that the chance of a man being gay increased by more than 30 percent for each older brother he has. Even though there are no studies to prove the existence of Older Brother Effect, many experts believe that this could be because of immune system reaction against male antigens which can affect foetus development.
To find out the link between genes and environment, geneticist Eric Viain conducted a study at University of California, Los Angeles. They studied the epi-genetic markers of the subject and tried to find the impact of the environment on these epi-markers. They collected DNA samples of 10 pairs of identical twins in which both were gay and 37 pairs in which only one twin was gay. When researchers scanned the epi-genomes of the gay twins, they found that 5 epi-markers were common among gays. Algorithm was developed based on these 5 epi-markers. This algo could correctly predict the sexual orientation of a person 67 percent of the time.
Limitations of this Study
Since this study took a small sample size of just 47 twins, the results of this study are likely to evaporate when test in a larger group. Another limitation of the study is that epigenetic markers present in the tissues of the body differ from those found in the brain. Since brain affects sexual orientation of person, researchers must study the epigenetic markers of the brain before coming to a conclusion
Critics of this study are of the view that just as genetic associations offer little insight into the sexual orientation of a person, little can be concluded from these epi-marks. These epi-marks are in regions that have not association with the gene of a person. For instance, one mark is associated with brain development, the second is located in the immune system, and the other 3 marks are in the areas that are not associated with any gene.
Most geneticists are of the view that genes have no impact on the sexual orientation of the person. Since, there are no ‘gay genes’, coming out with a conclusion that epi-marks affect the sexual orientation of the person may not be correct. The biggest study to find out the impact of genes on the sexual orientation of the person was conducted by Sanders. He took 409 pairs of gay brothers, including a few non-identical twins to find the effect of genes on sexual orientation of the person. They found that two areas of genome, namely chromosome 83 and X chromosome do impact the sexual orientation of a person. However, the exact impact of these chromosomes is yet to be determined.
Even thought the study conducted by Eric Viain is a step in the right direction, it is difficult to believe the findings of their study. There study appears incomplete and requires several changes before they can come to a definite conclusion. So do genes really affect the sexual orientation of person? We believe it does. However, there are limited studies to back our belief.