Teeth staining : Types and reasons

Good oral hygiene plays an important role in keeping the teeth healthy and white. People who have stained teeth feel very uncomfortable to smile or even to talk in front of others because they do not feel good to open their mouth. When teeth get stained they no more have bright white appearance, instead the surface looks very unattractive with dark and yellow stains. The reason for staining could be anything from poor brushing habits to consuming lot of stain causing foods and beverages.

Types of teeth discoloration:
Staining or discoloration of teeth could be of two types – intrinsic that develops inside the inner structure of the tooth and extrinsic that forms on the outer layer of enamel.

  • In case of intrinsic stains, the tooth becomes dark yellow color from inside structure called dentin which can only be removed with the help of teeth whitening procedures. Generally, this type of discoloration happens when the person is exposed to fluoride during early childhood or using too many antibiotics during pregnancy or early young age.
  • Extrinsic stains which are most common among people are typically formed on the outer enamel, caused by drinking beverages like coffee, tea, wine, cola or other stain causing foods and drinks.
  • Apart from the above types, people lose their teeth color with age and naturally it turns into yellow on the enamel surface as well as from inside. Too many whitening procedures and dental hygiene treatments make the teeth thinner and obviously expose the inner layer of the dentin to the stain causing foods. In fact, smoking is also another primary reason that can stain teeth as the people grow older.

How to treat teeth staining?
While following a good oral regime will restore the brightness of teeth, regular dental checkups and cleanings by a professional dentist will help remove surface stains. Extrinsic stains are much easier to treat than intrinsic because extrinsic are formed only on the outer surface whereas intrinsic damages the nerve or blood vessel and requires the removal of inner part of the tooth pulp. There are many whitening treatments that can be done at home or in doctor’s office with different products and methodologies.

Before going for one of these options, you need to make a visit to the dentist to determine the type of stain that you have on your teeth. If it is deep inside, then you will be suggested to go for root canal treatments to remove the inner stained part. If it is Just on the outer surface of the enamel, then you can go for teeth bleaching techniques which can be done by yourself at home or at the doctor’s office. The bleaching gels that you get over the counter are not as powerful as the ones that are used by the dentists. These products that are meant for self usage are useful to remove only minor stains but do not change the overall color of the teeth. If the stains are deep and ugly, then professional help is required to follow the powerful bleaching processes. It may take more than one visit to completely get rid of stains and restire the natural teeth color.