Elmhurst Cosmetic Dentist Explains How Teeth Wear Down and Change Color with Age

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Oct 4, 2011

Recently I saw a regular patient of mine, Pam, who reported that she was unhappy with the current appearance of her smile. Pam has always taken great care of her teeth, and in this case her smile was still as healthy as ever. However, the appearance of her enamel had changed as she aged, and she didn’t like what she was seeing.


It’s inevitable that as we age our teeth change and age with us. Most patients enjoy white, bright smile when they are younger, because their dental enamel is not yet stained by years of environmental factors. Over time staining foods like berries, drinks like coffee or tea, and products like tobacco can discolor enamel that was once white and shiny.


Additionally, dental enamel darkens over time because it thins and becomes more translucent. Below the layer of hard dental enamel is a layer of porous dentin. Dentin is naturally darker and yellower in color. When patients are young, their white enamel effectively covers the darker dentin. However, as enamel thins due to years of wear and tear, the dark dentin begins to show through.


Our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists explained to Pam that her teeth were aging, and consequently they were changing both physically and aesthetically. Luckily for Pam we were able to implement some effective cosmetic treatments that refreshed her smile and rejuvenated her dental enamel. A whiter smile can take years off of your appearance, and after professional whitening treatments, Pam was back to feeling like her younger, vibrant self again.

We can’t control everything about our smiles. As we age our teeth will naturally become darker and yellower. However, with modern cosmetic dentistry we can restore some of the enamel’s luster, whiteness and shine. If you are interested in learning more about cosmetic dentistry or whitening treatments, give our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists a call—(630) 733-1624.