Teeth stains can develop for a wide range of reasons. Stains surface because of food and beverage choices, poor oral hygiene habits, or the use of certain medications. Most teeth stains develop on the surface of the teeth (extrinsic teeth stains) or just below the enamel (intrinsic teeth stains). Some types of teeth stains, such as age-related stains, can have the results of both extrinsic and intrinsic stains as the dentin layer naturally yellows over time. Teeth whitening is used to remove a variety of unsightly stains from the teeth.
Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration
With extrinsic tooth discoloration, the staining usually only affects the tooth enamel or outermost layer of tooth. Extrinsic tooth discoloration can have numerous different causes but the most common include food, beverages, and tobacco use.
Chemical compounds known as chromogens give certain foods and beverages their unique color. These compounds are what can stain teeth. In addition, some foods and beverages contain a substance called tannins which can also make the teeth more vulnerable to staining.
Some of the most common foods and beverages known to stain teeth include tea, coffee, red wine, cola, fruit juices, tomato-based sauces, balsamic vinegar, curry, and berries.
Your teeth contain pores, similar to your skin. The tar and nicotine found in tobacco can become absorbed into these pores, causing brown or yellow discoloration. While nicotine on its own is virtually colorless, it can turn yellow when combined with oxygen.
The most effective way to treat extrinsic teeth stains is through professional teeth whitening services. Professional-strength bleaching agents help to remove tough stains and improve tooth color by up to eight shades.
Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration
With intrinsic tooth discoloration, the staining occurs under the enamel and within the tooth. This makes the stains more resistant to most over-the-counter whitening products. Intrinsic tooth staining will often appear grayish instead of yellow or brown due to the location and source of the stain.
Some of the most common causes of this type of tooth discoloration include the use of certain medications, tooth decay, trauma or injury to the tooth, excessive fluoride, or genetics.
Any type of illness, trauma, or disease that impacts enamel development can cause discoloration. This often appears in children and can even develop while in the womb. Trauma to adult teeth can also cause discoloration. Certain treatments for diseases are also known to stain teeth, such as chemotherapy and radiation.
As intrinsic stains occur within the dentin layer of the tooth, they do not generally respond well to whitening treatments. However, there are other cosmetic dental treatments that can be used to enhance your smile. Treatments such as dental bonding, porcelain crows, or porcelain veneers.
Age-Related Tooth Discoloration
Teeth often discolor over time as the enamel begins to wear away, exposing the yellow dentin layer underneath. The teeth also become more brittle due to age which allows yellowing and staining to occur more easily. As the teeth become weaker with age, they are also more likely to succumb to trauma. Tooth injuries can cause the damaged tooth to darken over time.
Getting Rid of Tooth Stains
If you are dealing with tooth stains that won’t go away with brushing alone, teeth whitening may be the solution for you. There are several options when it comes to teeth whitening. These include over-the-counter whitening products like toothpastes and whitening strips, and at-home treatments provided through your dentist. For the best results, an in-office whitening treatment is often the best option.
With in-office teeth whitening, your dentist will use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in most over-the-counter whitening kits. This allows the bleaching agent to work quickly and to whitening teeth more effectively than what is possible at home. The effects of an in-office treatment are usually considerably longer compared to other methods.
Schedule In-Office Whitening
If you have unsightly tooth staining, in-office teeth whitening services at Bonham Dental Arts will help. At Bonham Dental Arts, we offer family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation in our Largo, Florida location. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Bonham Dental Arts today.