kola nut stains: So, we all have heard about so many extrinsic stains on the teeth and their causes, but let’s bring to your notice about a particular stain that is caused a very popular nut, called kola nut. This sort of stain mimics same stain as tobacco chewers and smokers.
Kola nut is the seed kernel of a large African tree grown commercially around the world, particularly in Nigeria , Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil and other parts of South America. It’s a powerful stimulant because of its high caffeine content.
Kola nut is considered a sacred nut especially in the south Eastern part of Nigeria, amongst the Igbo tribe.
The saying goes, “he who bring kola nut, brings life”. I say, “he who brings kola nut brings dental stains and unnecessary neurological stimulation. As part of tradition in South Eastern part of Nigeria, a prayer must be said before kola nut is served.
Even if you don’t have a beer, food or any sort of drink to offer your visitor, by bringing kola nut, you have performed better than anyone who serves a bottle of the costliest champagne.
The kola nut has a high caffeine content as well as a number of other phyto-chemical compounds including betaine (a natural red pigment), kola red, phenolics, tannins, theobromine and theophylline. Its bitter astringent flavor is used as digestive aid prior to meals to stimulate gastric juice and bile production; while its caffeine and theobromine content make it a potent neuro-stimulant that is used to combat fatigue.
The nut and its extracts have been also successfully used in treating respiratory conditions such as asthma and whooping cough as its caffeine, theobromine and theophylline content act as vasodilators that dilate the blood vessels, allowing for greater circulation of oxygen.
Other medicinal uses include the treatment of toothache, diarrhea, exhaustion, headaches, hunger (the caffeine content means it is an effective appetite suppressant), malaria, nausea, poison antidote, sedative, stimulant and tonic.
Amongst all these medicinal importance of kola nut, it cause one to spend heavy on routine scaling and polishing. The stains are fashioned in such a away that they cover almost the lingual and palatal surfaces of the anterior teeth, they also extends to the palatal and buccal surfaces of the posterior teeth. These stains are primarily caused by the high caffeine content of the nut.
READ ALSO: Medicinal attributes of kola nut by renowned professor Maurice Iwu.
It’s is surprising to discover after many years of practice in dentistry that people who are addicts to kola nuts with heavily stained teeth do not bleed on scaling and polishing. More so, they have been noted to have lesser occurrence of dental caries/tooth decay.
Dentist and dental hygienists find this form of stain very hectic and difficult to clean. An average of 1 hour 30 minutes is dedicated to removing all stains as against the conventional 45 minutes for routine scaling and polishing.
These stains are commonly found amongst elderly people especially from 50 years and above.
If found in younger ones, then it’s considered as a result of addictions to the caffeine content of the sacred nut. Similar stains that can look like kola nut stain on the teeth are :
Coffee stains Bitter kola stain Coca-Cola stains Tobacco stains
Don’t be surprised to be heavily billed by your dentist when he sees the amount of stains that needs removing and time involved.
My advice, save your self the stress of long chair time with the dentist and save yourself your cash.
It’s a breakable habit. He who brings kola nut, brings more money to the dentist.