Types of Tooth Discoloration

Woodinville Tooth Discoloration Treatment

Feb 20, 2015 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: Tooth Discoloration Teeth Whitening Cosmetic Dentistry

A woman outdoors with a cup of teaAt Signature Smiles here in Woodinville, we offer many treatments for dental stains and tooth discoloration. Teeth whitening is particularly effective at bleaching stains and making smile bright and beautiful. Yet sometimes teeth whitening is not the best solution given the kind of tooth discoloration that a patient is experiencing. We'd like to cover this idea about the kinds of tooth discoloration in more detail right now.

About Extrinsic Dental Stains

Extrinsic dental stains are dental stains that originate on the surface layer of the teeth. These kinds of stains are the ones that most people are familiar with.

Causes of Extrinsic Dental Stains

The most common causes of extrinsic dental stains are common foods and beverages as well as other substances we encounter everyday. This includes:

  • Tobacco products
  • Red wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks (especially colas)
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Curries
  • Tomatoes

Treatment Options for Extrinsic Dental Stains

The most common treatment for extrinsic dental stains is the use of teeth whitening. This involves bleaching gels applied to the teeth and specially activated to penetrate into the enamel layer and whiten discoloration. If the extrinsic dental stain is too severe, the ideal treatment option is the use of porcelain veneers or dental bonding to mask the stain from view.

About Intrinsic Dental Stains

Intrinsic dental stains are stains that originate from within the tooth itself. These are somewhat common stains, though they are not as well known as extrinsic dental stains.

Causes of Intrinsic Dental Stains

Some of the most common causes of intrinsic dental stains include the following:

  • Injuries to the teeth
  • Congenital tooth discoloration
  • Root canal infections
  • Use of tetracycline at an early age
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride

Treatment Options for Intrinsic Dental Stains

When it comes to treating intrinsic dental stains, teeth whitening will be ineffective since the bleaching agents are applied topically. Generally, the best course of action is to rely on the use of porcelain veneers and dental bonding. This helps mask the stains from view and makes the smile look pristine in the process.

About Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Age-related tooth discoloration refers to the kind of staining that occurs as people get older. This is a natural part of the aging process, though the degree to which it occurs will vary from patient to patient.

Causes of Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Age-related tooth discoloration occurs as a result of both extrinsic and intrinsic means. This makes sense given the amount of wear and tear the teeth can go through over the course of a lifetime.

Treatment Options for Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

In order to treat age-related tooth discoloration, a combination of teeth whitening as well as porcelain veneers and dental bonding is a good course of action. Dental crowns may also be ideal if the discoloration is paired with tooth decay or tooth damage. Patients can minimize the amount of age-related tooth discoloration by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding the use of tobacco products.

Contact the Team Here at Signature Smiles

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening and your many options for advanced cosmetic dentistry, be sure to contact our family dental care center today. Here at Signature Smiles, we will be more than happy to help you achieve excellent dental health and wellness as well as the most beautiful smile possible.

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