3 Types Of Dental Discoloration

26 January 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Tooth discoloration can be caused by a number of reasons, and can appear as stains on the surface of your teeth or as deviations in the dentin. Here are three different types of tooth staining, and what you can do about them:

Intrinsic Staining

Intrinsic dental staining refers to the discoloration that develops when the dentin, or inner part of your teeth, turns yellow or dark. This type of staining can occur as a result of childhood exposure to large amounts of fluoride and the use of antibiotics known as tetracycline in young children. 

Also, if your mother took tetracycline during her pregnancy, you may have developed intrinsic stains on your teeth. This type of staining is usually not amendable to whitening procedures such as professional bleaching or at-home whitening strips. 

Because the stains are deep and affect the dentin instead of the enamel, your best option would be to talk to your family dentist about getting veneers or crowns. These restorations can cover the entire tooth with a durable material so that stains are hidden on your natural teeth. 

Extrinsic Staining

Extrinsic staining is tooth discoloration that develops when only the outer layer, or enamel of your tooth, has become stained as a result of highly pigmented foods or beverages. These include colas, tea, coffee, wine, and blueberries.

Cigarette smoking can also cause extrinsic staining and yellowing of the teeth. These types of stains are usually very responsive to conservative methods of stain removal such as using a whitening toothpaste or bleaching strips and having your teeth professional bleached by your dental professional 

Stains Due To Age

As people age, they are more at risk for developing discolored teeth. The combination of long-term consumption of pigmented foods, drinks, and smoking can cause heavy dental staining, as well as the natural progression of age-related enamel thinning. 

When your enamel gets thinner, it allows your dentin to become more visible, which will appear as yellowness. Injuries or chips to your teeth may also lead to discoloration, which is more likely to occur when the pulp of the tooth is damaged. Rarely, congenital medical conditions can cause tooth discolorations in children whose tooth discoloration may appear as purple, brown, yellow, or grey. 

If your teeth become discolored, see your dentist for further evaluation and treatment. There are a number of simple treatment options that your dental professional can offer you to help you regain white teeth. Visit sites like eatontowndentalcare.com for more information.