Teeth Stains Types, Causes and Solutions
Teeth stains can ruin the appeal of your smile. Stains can also be tough to get rid of. Fortunately, your dentist can help you get whiter, brighter teeth.
Stains can occur for a number of reasons, from the food you eat to the medications you take. Your oral hygiene habits also affect staining – not brushing or flossing regularly can allow stains to set in. Discolorations may be the result of surface stains or changes in the tooth.
Teeth stains typically develop on the surface of tooth enamel, which is the tough outer layer of the tooth. Stain-causing food and drinks can coat the enamel to cause overall staining.
Stains can seep deeper into the structure of the teeth to cause deep, stubborn stains below the enamel. Tooth enamel is very porous, which means enamel has microscopic holes in it. Stain-causing substances in food and drinks can seep into and coat these microscopic pores. In some cases, stains can affect the dentin, which is the material lying just below the enamel. Healthy dentin has a yellowish color; stains can darken the yellow hue of dentin and stains can even cause dentin to take on different colors.
The color of the stain can tell you a lot about its cause. Brown stains may be the result of smoking or chewing tobacco, for example, or they may be from food and beverages. Some stains develop during childhood, when tooth enamel is still developing. White spots might indicate exposure to excessive fluoride during the development of tooth enamel, for example, while taking tetracycline during tooth enamel development can cause brown stains. Certain bacteria can cause orange stains.
While some stains are permanent, you can reduce the appearance of most stains with over-the-counter products or with the help of your dentist.
Types of teeth stains
There are three main types of teeth stains, and each has its own underlying causes and solutions.
Extrinsic stains occur on the surface of the tooth. These stains develop when residue from food and beverages accumulate in the film of protein that covers tooth enamel. Tobacco, coffee, tea, cola drinks, and wine can cause extrinsic stains, as can blueberries. Brushing with whitening toothpaste and getting regular dental cleanings can easily resolve extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic teeth stains develop below the surface of the tooth. Stain-causing particles work through the tooth’s surface and accumulate within the enamel of the tooth, where they cause yellow, brown, gray or orange areas. Excessive use of fluoride may cause these deep stains. Intrinsic teeth stains are stubborn, but respond to in-office whitening procedure or customized bleaching trays for home use.
Teeth tend to discolor with age, as the dentin becomes more yellow. Tooth enamel can also thin and wear down over time, which allows the yellow color of the dentin to become more visible.
Yellowing dentin and thinner tooth enamel can make existing surface stains more visible, so age-related teeth stains are a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic stains. This makes age-related teeth stains the toughest to remove.
Make Your Teeth White at Williams and Daily
Williams and Daily offer a wide variety of methods to make teeth white, including tooth-colored fillings, life-like dental crowns, veneers and cosmetic teeth whitening. In-office teeth whitening takes only about an hour and uses advanced dental technology, such as LumaLight, to keep your teeth looking their very best. Contact Williams and Daily today to learn more about teeth stains, their causes, and solutions.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist in Raleigh, NC with a dedicated team of dentists, assistants, hygienists and administrators who are enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.