Depending on your experiences, you might think all stained teeth are the same. More specifically, it can seem like the stains all have the same defining traits. However, the truth is that there are three distinct types of tooth stains — each with unique markers and causes. That means the cleaning and prevention methods for one kind might not work for another and vice-versa.
To help you keep a whiter smile, here’s a summary of the three tooth stain types and how best to treat them.
Tooth Stain Type 1: Extrinsic
An extrinsic tooth stain occurs on a tooth’s surface. It results from stain particles —often pigmented residue from foods or drinks — building up in the protein film that covers the enamel.
These ‘stain particles’ are caused by products like tobacco, coffee, tea, wine, or soda. Consequently, extrinsic tooth stains respond well to dental cleaning and tooth brushing with whitening toothpaste.
Tooth Stain Type 2: Intrinsic
An intrinsic tooth stain is below a tooth’s surface. It happens when stain-causing particles work through the tooth exterior and accumulate within the tooth enamel. Excessive fluoride use and ingestion have been associated with this stain type.
While trickier than the other kinds, removing an intrinsic stain can be done. Doing so may require using professional or at-home teeth-whitening bleach products.
Tooth Stain Type 3: Age-Related
Age-related teeth stains combine aspects of both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth staining.
The core tissue of teeth, called dentin, naturally yellows as you grow older. Furthermore, tooth enamel also thins with age, allowing the dentin to show through. These intrinsic causes of discoloration combined with extrinsic factors like foods, beverages, and tobacco cause adults’ teeth to discolor.
Possible Dental Treatment Responses
Thankfully, cosmetic dentists have several treatments that can erase or hide different teeth stains. They include:
- In-Office Teeth Whitening: This option can make teeth six to eight shades whiter in just one appointment. Most dental practices can do the procedure in a mere hour!
- At-Home Treatment Via Dentist: Your dentist may give you an at-home teeth-whitening kit that includes bleaching trays and a whitening gel. By wearing the gel-infused trays for roughly twenty-to-thirty minutes each day over two weeks, your teeth will be shinier than ever.
- Porcelain Veneers: A dentist bonds layers of porcelain to the front surface of teeth to hide tooth stains underneath an enamel substitute.
- Cosmetic Dental Bonding: A dentist can use a composite, tooth-colored resin to cover up stains, chips, and cracks in your teeth. With proper care, the results can last for up to ten years.
You don’t have to live with stained teeth for your whole life. Let a local dentist help your smile shine again!
About the Practice
Lakeside Daytona Dentist is based in Daytona Beach, FL. Led by Drs. Gladston Silva and Lisset Gonzalez, their team provides patients with state-of-the-art dental services. These include preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including emergency dental procedures. Whether you need a regular checkup or an advanced treatment like dental implants, they’ll do the job well. For more information or to book an appointment, they can be reached at their website or by phone at (386)-274-2021.