A lot of us care deeply about our personal appearance and our hygiene. After all, taking care of our bodies is a big part of staying healthy in general. It can feel very alarming when we experience a change in our appearance, no matter how small it might be.
Some people are startled when they notice that their teeth seem to be changing colors, and especially when their teeth look green. It turns out there are quite a few things that can cause our teeth to take on a greenish hue.
For starters, if a baby develops jaundice after birth, their baby teeth could have a green pigmentation. The Nemours Foundation explains that jaundice typically clears up within two weeks of diagnosis, but toothpaste brand Colgate indicates that sometimes the excess bilirubin produced by the condition can cause the change in baby teeth. Luckily, a study published by Allied Academies has gone on to prove that this situation is exceedingly rare.
Healthline explains that there are actually two ways teeth can turn green: from the outside in (extrinsic staining) and from the inside out (intrinsic staining).
Intrinsic staining is less common, but typically happens when the tooth is still forming. Intrinsic staining is typically due to a lack of nutrients in someone’s diet. Extrinsic staining, however, happens on the outside of the tooth and is usually caused by poor teeth brushing habits. Luckily, extrinsic stains can usually be fixed by a dentist.
There are a few supplements and health aides that can cause extrinsic green staining on teeth, too. At the top of the list is liquid chlorophyll. Healthline explains that some people add the supplement to their diet in an effort to stimulate the immune system, clean out the intestines, or to boost their red blood cells, but it can have one huge consequence: green teeth!
Luckily, dentist Howard M. Steinberg told one concerned patient that a quick dental cleaning should fix the problem if it’s caused by chlorophyll. While replying to a comment on Alignable, a social network for small business owners, he said, “…a professional dental cleaning would be the obvious treatment, resulting in a noticeable and immediate improvement in the color of the teeth.”
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