Solutions for Teeth Stains

Types, Causes, and Solutions for Teeth Stains


People get stains on their teeth for a lot of reasons, including people’s drink and food choices, medication use, and oral hygiene. It happens on the surface of the teeth or below the enamel, and some people develop both types of stains.

Types of tooth stains or discoloration

Discolorations can happen because of surface stains, actual changes in the tooth material, or both factors. Dentists have identified three categories of teeth discoloration:

Extrinsic stains – It is staining on the surface of the enamel. It happens when particles like pigmented residue from drinks or food build-up in the covering of the enamel. These are usually caused by cigarette or tobacco use or by regularly drinking tea and coffee, cola, or wine. This kind of discolorations responds well to brushing using whitening pastes or regular dental cleaning.

Intrinsic stains – It is a type of discoloration below the surface of the enamel. It happens when stain-causing materials work through the outside of the tooth and accumulate within the enamel. Excessive use of fluoride has been associated with this type of discoloration, especially in kids. Intrinsic tooth stains are a lot trickier to remove, but it can be done with proper procedure. Intrinsic stains may require at-home chemical whitening products or bleaching from dental professionals.

Age-related stains – This type of discoloration combines the results of both extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Because the dentin or the tooth’s core tissue, usually yellows over time, it discolors as people age. As the enamel becomes smaller and thinner with age, the dentin will start to show through. Extrinsic causes of stains like certain beverages, food, and tobacco, combined with intrinsic ones, will cause people’s enamel to discolor as they get older.

Why does enamel turn yellow? Visit for more info.

Causes of stained teeth

Tooth discoloration has a lot of causes. Certain drinks and foods can cause it, and as we have talked about, it is also a product of some biological factors like the transparency of the tooth enamel. Some of these causes can be prevented, and many of which are beyond people’s control. Things listed below can help people determine the cause of this phenomenon, and in some cases, help prevent further escalation of the issue.

Drinks and foods – Red wine, dark sodas, tea, and coffee, even a few vegetables and fruits are proven to cause this problem.

Tobacco – Both chewing tobacco and cigarettes can contribute to this problem.

Oral care – Poor dental care or hygiene like inadequate flossing or brushing can lead to teeth stains.

Disease or trauma – Any illness, disease, or trauma that affects the normal enamel development in kids – either in the mother’s womb or while their teeth are still developing (eight years old and below) – can cause staining. Trauma or injury to adult teeth can also cause this problem. Not only that, there are a couple of diseases and treatments that can cause staining – for instance, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Medical treatments – There are medical treatments that can contribute to this kind of dental problem. Some classes of drugs, including chemotherapy, high blood pressure drugs, some antipsychotic drugs, and anti-histamines, can cause these discolorations.

Knowing how to remove these dental problems helps to know what kind of stains people are dealing with. According to research, some discoloration particles remain on the enamel, while others work through it over time and set beneath the teeth surface, which generates spots and dullness.

Are teeth white?

Tooth color is pretty subjective, and it can be very hard to tell how well whitening products are working to reduce or remove blemishes. According to a 2004 study, even dental professionals and medical experts disagree on the color of the teeth if they evaluate the same enamel, and one professional can rate its whiteness differently in different situations. One way to evaluate the effectiveness of whitening products involves taking a high-resolution digital picture of the tooth and assigning a numerical value to describe its redness, as well as the increase in lightness.

Tooth whitening for older people

While everyone knows they get better with age, tooth stains are considered one of the least-favorite changes when aging. As a matter of fact, one of the main categories of discoloration is age-related staining, which is a consequence of some factors.

Why are older people susceptible to this problem?

First and foremost, as people age, their tooth’s outer layer gets a lot thinner over time. It reveals the yellow color of its core tissue called dentin. The dentin will also turn yellow naturally as people age. Not only that, years of consuming red wine, dark sodas, coffee, and tea can also cause progressive discoloration over time. Finally, injuries or damage to the teeth, which happens over time throughout people’s life, cause staining that can become noticeable as they age.

How to remove this dental problem?

The good news is, there are a lot of treatment options available in the market today for this problem. People need to keep their enamels healthy and good looking by maintaining an excellent oral health regimen, including flossing and brushing at least twice a day, dental visits at least once every six months, and limiting the consumption of stain-causing food or drinks.

Regular whitening maintenance can also help keep enamels look brighter, whiter, and healthier. Regardless of the kind of staining people have, there are a lot of safe whitening products available in the market today that can help people makeover their discolored teeth into a pearly-white and beautiful smile.

Ask your dental professional for any recommendations on the best whitening products and options to treat this age-related dental problem. We all know that aging is unavoidable, but this problem can be solved or avoided with proper dental care, good and healthy diet, as well as whitening products. Before trying any treatment or products:

Always make it a habit to check the Internet for recommendations.

Ask people in your inner circles like friends, family members, co-workers, or neighbors.

Ask a dental professional for help.

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