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牙齿美白并不代表牙齿健康

更新时间:2018-1-7 10:59:11 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why having white teeth doesn't mean they are healthy
牙齿美白并不代表牙齿健康

Most of us would like to have a gleaming white smile, filled with teeth that would make a Hollywood actor proud. Studies show that 18-52% of people are dissatisfied with the colour of their teeth.

每个人都希望拥有如同好莱坞明星般整齐洁白的牙齿。有研究表明,有18-52%的人对自己的牙齿色泽不满意。

In countries such as the US, tooth whitening is one of the most commonly requested dental procedures, while the British are often the butt of jokes about yellowing gnashers. Rows of perfect teeth beam out from magazines and cinema screens around the world.

在美国等国家,牙齿漂白是牙科诊所最常见的业务之一。英国人因为牙齿发黄,经常成为段子里嘲笑的对象。在世界各地,出现杂志封面和电影银幕上的明星无不在炫耀着他们完美无瑕的牙齿。

It is hardly surprising then, that we tend to assume that white teeth are not only attractive, but healthy. The hue of our teeth depends on their intrinsic colour, influenced in part by our genes and our age, combined with stains from smoking, eating, drinking and taking certain medications. As you get older your teeth often become yellower as the enamel begins to wear away, exposing the dentine beneath.

好像人们已经认定了一个事实:洁白的牙齿不仅能够提升个人魅力,同时也是身体健康的体现。牙齿的颜色取决于其固有色,而牙齿固有色主要是由基因和年龄决定的,其他作用因素还有吸烟、饮食、饮酒及药物等等。随和年龄的增长,牙釉质出现磨损,牙本质开始逐渐暴露,从而使牙齿发黄。

Green fur

绿垢

Stains then overlay the yellowing teeth, with foods such as tomato-based sauces and coffee leaving behind coloured compounds called chromogens, while bacteria or fungi can cause green, greyish, furry looking stains.

接下来,发黄的牙齿会被色素染色。番茄酱和咖啡等有色食物中包含的色原体,以及细菌或真菌都会在牙齿表面留下绿色和灰色的绒毛状色斑。

Many of the experiments on tooth colour have been conducted in laboratory test tubes, rather than in the mouths of living people. Often cows’ teeth are used because they give researchers with a larger surface area to study, but sometimes extracted human teeth are tested too.

许多关于牙齿颜色的实验都是在实验室试管内,而不是在人体口腔内完成的。科研人员也会使用尺寸较大的牛齿,但有时也使用脱落的人齿。

One study conducted by Mark Wolff from New York University soaked cows’ teeth for an hour in black tea, red wine or white wine in various configurations. It was no surprise that the red wine left the strongest stains. Surprisingly, the black tea didn’t stain the teeth unless it had been preceded by white wine. It seems the acid content of the wine was making the enamel slightly more porous, allowing the tea to leave its mark.

纽约大学的马克·沃尔夫(Mark Wolff)曾做了一项实验:把牛齿浸泡在红茶、红葡萄酒或白葡萄酒的不同组合里并保持一小时。毫无意外,红葡萄酒留下的色斑最重。然而出人意外的是,除非和白葡萄酒混合,否则红茶不会在牙齿表面留下色斑。其原因似乎是:葡萄酒中的酸性成分会让牙釉质变得略微孔洞化,从而让红茶留下色斑。

These food and drink-based stains may discolour teeth, but they don’t indicate that the teeth are unhealthy. You can have pearly white teeth and still have gum infections or cavities. Likewise, you can have perfectly healthy teeth which are off-white, yellowish or even brownish.

这些由食物和饮料引起的色斑会导致牙齿变色,但并不意味着牙齿不健康。很多拥有洁白牙齿的人仍然有牙龈感染或龋齿等口腔问题。同样,十分健康的牙齿也会呈现暗白色、黄色甚至深黄色。

Black stain

黑斑

There is even one type of stain that some researchers believe might protect against tooth decay. This is the dark edge you sometimes see along teeth at the margins of the gum line. It can look like a series of dark dots. It’s known as “black stain”.

有研究者认为,甚至有一种色斑能够防止龋齿。这就是牙齿在与牙龈接触处的暗色边缘。它看起来像是一系列暗点,人们将其称为"黑斑"。

While the cause of black stain has debated for more than a century, the latest thinking is that it’s a special kind of dental plaque comprising calcium, phosphate, various bacteria and some form of iron or copper compound, which gives rise to the black colour.

关于产生黑斑的原因,人们已经讨论了一个多世纪。最新观点认为,它是一种包含钙、硫、各种细菌和某种铁和铜化合物的特殊牙斑,铁和铜是形成黑色的原因。

Curiously, some studies – although not all – have found that children with black stain are less likely to have tooth decay. It’s thought that microbes in the stain might be somehow protective.

有趣的是,有研究发现牙齿有黑斑的儿童患蛀牙的概率更小。有人认为,黑斑内的微生物可能有保护牙齿的功效。

Of course, in some cases discolouration can indicate decay or other disease, so it is worth getting stains checked out by a dentist. But just as white teeth aren’t necessarily healthy, off-colour teeth aren’t necessarily bad either.

当然,有时牙齿变色也是龋齿或其他疾病的表现,因此应当去看牙医检查牙齿变色原因。正如白色牙齿不一定意味着健康一样,变色的牙齿也不一定意味着牙齿有病。

So, what if you still want gleaming white teeth, regardless of what they say about your health? There are whole a range of whitening interventions from toothpastes, strips, gels and trays to wear around your teeth at night. Most contain abrasive substances that rub off stains or bleaching, or a combination of both.  Some even contain a substance which adds a blueish tinge to the teeth to counteract any yellowness, resulting in teeth that appear even whiter.

那么,要是不管健康与否,一门心思想要一口洁白的牙齿呢?要想让牙齿变白,有一系列措施:美白牙膏、牙齿美白贴片、美白胶和夜晚佩戴的美白牙套等等。大多数美白产品都包含研磨材料,能够去除牙菌斑并漂白牙齿,或者兼而有之。某些产品甚至包含蓝色染料,能够与牙齿的黄色相互中和,提高牙齿的白度。

Professionals tend to offer treatments that use stronger bleaching agents than you can find in home treatments. But reviews of the range of treatments available show that efficacy varies considerably. Bleaching can also cause temporary sensitivity in some people’s teeth or gums.

专业牙齿美白诊所使用家里没有的高效能漂白剂。但是对现有治疗手段进行调查发现,漂白剂对不同人的美白效果差别巨大。另外,漂白还会造成某些人的牙齿或牙龈暂时敏感。

And of course, unless you continue with a treatment, the whiteness will only last for as long as you avoid the foods and drinks that cause the stains in the first place.

当然,漂白效果只能保存一时。除非定期去漂白,否则一旦食用了会染色的食物或饮料,之前的美白效果就到此为止。

But at least you know that even without that Hollywood white smile, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have healthy teeth.

至少你已经知道,虽然你的牙齿没有好莱坞明星那样光彩照人,但这并不意味着你的牙齿不健康。

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