Tooth Stains: Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic
Not all tooth stains are created equal. Discoloration can range from yellow to gray to black. An experienced cosmetic dentist can help remove your tooth stains. The method a dentist uses, however, depends upon whether your tooth stains are extrinsic or intrinsic.
What are Extrinsic Stains?
As the term applies, extrinsic stains occur on the exterior, or outside, surface of your teeth. Believe it or not, your teeth are actually porous. Therefore, when you consume foods and drinks such as coffee, wine, blueberries and tomato sauce. the color actually gets absorbs into your teeth. Smokers often have extrinsic stains from the tannins in the tobacco. These types of stains can be lessened with regular brushing and flossing habits or using whitening toothpaste. However, to get your pearly whites the vibrant color you desire, you may need to visit a dentist for a professional whitening or tooth bleaching procedure.
What are Intrinsic Stains?
Intrinsic stains tend to be a bit more stubborn to erase. They are found on the inside of the tooth. Intrinsic stains often occur as a result of severe tooth decay or a tooth injury. Many people have internal stains after certain medication use. Tetracycline stains are a very common medication-related intrinsic stain and they appear as grayish stains. Lastly, children may have white streaks on their teeth from a condition called fluorosis, which means they received too much fluoride at a young age. A skilled cosmetic dentist is best to handle your intrinsic stains. While whitening procedures may not produce the results you want, there are cosmetic dental options, such as porcelain veneers, that can eliminate unwanted internal stains and help you smile confidently.
Gilreath Dental Associates proudly uses an advanced technique called ICON to infiltrate the resin of your teeth and remove intrinsic stains. This is an excellent option that does not require anesthesia, drills or a lengthy appointment time. Many orthodontic patients choose ICON stain removal to remove the white and brown stains that braces often leave behind.
A dental professional can examine your tooth discoloration and tell you if your stains are intrinsic or extrinsic. Regardless of the type of stains you have, it is good news to know that there are solutions available that will give you the bright, white smile you have dreamed of!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates