Tooth stains of any kind are undesirable. Teeth can be discolored with a brown, yellow or even grayish tint. Most tooth stains, however, can be categorized into two main categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Why does it matter which type of stain you have? It will determine your treatment plan for a whiter and brighter smile. In fact, assuming you have extrinsic staining and undergoing months of teeth whitening treatment may render little to no results and wasted money.
Extrinsic Tooth Stains
Extrinsic tooth stains are the most commonly known type of staining. This occurs when the discoloration is on the outer layer of the tooth, or the enamel. Superficial stains can develop over time do to regular tobacco use or consumption of dark-colored foods and drinks (such as coffee, red wine, berries etc). The good news is that extrinsic tooth stains typically respond very well to teeth whitening, especially when it is given by your dentist.
Treating Extrinsic Tooth Stains
If your tooth stains are determined to be extrinsic, most dentists will recommend one of the simplest and most affordable solutions – professional teeth whitening. This can be done in the office in just 1 hour or over the course of several weeks using customized trays and professional-grade bleaching gel. If your extrinsic stains are not responding well to teeth whitening, you have the option of getting porcelain veneers – which can give you a brilliant smile that is resistant to future staining.
Intrinsic Tooth Stains
Not all tooth stains are caused by food, drinks or what your teeth come in contact with. They can also come from within the tooth. This type of discoloration commonly occurs from certain medications, excessive fluoride exposure or oral trauma. Intrinsic staining exists on the inner part of the tooth, known as the dentin layer. Perhaps the most important characteristic of intrinsic stains, however, is that they are typically resistant to bleaching or whitening.
Treating Intrinsic Tooth Stains
Intrinsic tooth stains permanently discolor the structure of the tooth, so no amount of brushing or professional teeth whitening will change this. However, you don’t have to be stuck with your stains. There are cosmetic dentistry options that can fix (or cover up) your stained teeth, such as the following:
- Dental Bonding
- Porcelain Veneers
- Dental Crowns
Are you bothered by our discolored teeth? What type of tooth stains do you have? If you are unsure, let Dr. Gilreath evaluate you. We proudly offer a state-of-the-art teeth whitening system along with other options in cosmetic dentistry to ensure your tooth color isn’t a reason you are hiding your smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,