Tooth Staining: Different Treatments For Different Stain Types

3 January 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Tooth staining and discoloration can cause embarrassment and diminish your self-esteem. There are a variety of reasons for dental staining and tooth discoloration, but before your cosmetic dental care specialist can recommend an effective treatment plan, they need to determine the type and cause of your staining. Here are different types of tooth staining, their causes, and treatment options.

Superficial, Extrinsic Stains

The most common types of dental stains are superficial, or extrinsic stains. These types of dental discolorations only affect the surface of your teeth and are typically caused by foods such as coffee, red wine, blueberries, and other highly pigmented beverages and foods. Smoking and chewing tobacco can also cause superficial staining, as can plaque and tartar buildup.

Extrinsic dental stains typically respond well to good oral hygiene practices and professional teeth cleanings. In addition, cosmetic dentistry treatments such as the use of bleaching trays and laser bleaching treatments will also help remove superficial dental stains and brighten your smile. After your dentist has bleached your teeth, drinking dark-colored liquids through a straw will help prevent re-staining.

Intrinsic Stains

Other types of staining known as intrinsic staining are not responsive to the above treatment options. Intrinsic dental stains are those that may be brown, gray, orange, or yellow. They can also appear as brown or white spots on the teeth that may be related to hypocalcification of the teeth, which means that there is too little calcium in the tooth enamel. Dental fluorosis, a condition caused by ingesting too much fluoride when the teeth are still forming, can also cause spotty stains on the teeth.

Furthermore, dental injuries can cause intrinsic stains, as can tooth enamel erosion. When your tooth enamel erodes, it becomes thin, and your underlying dentin, which normally has a deep yellow hue, can show through and make your teeth look discolored. In addition, children whose mothers took tetracycline antibiotics for bacterial infections while they were pregnant with them may develop stained teeth as a result of the antibiotic side effects.

Intrinsic stains can be treated with porcelain or resin veneers. The veneers are small dental coverings that are cemented over the front of the teeth to conceal discolorations and other tooth imperfections.

If you have stained teeth, make an appointment with a cosmetic dental care professional. After they take a medical and dental history from you and perform an examination, they will develop an individualized treatment plan to restore your smile.

For more information, contact a local business, like All Star Implants.