What Causes Tooth Discoloration And What Can I Do About It?
People judge us by how we look. It might not be right, but it is reality. The color of our teeth affects how we look.
What kinds of stains are there?
There are two types of stains that occur on teeth. There are intrinsic stains, which are stains on the inside of the teeth, and extrinsic stains, which occur outside of the teeth.
Intrinsic staining can be caused by a number of factors. Silver filling material can leach out into the tooth, causing a gray staining of the tooth. Another factor can be an illness while the tooth is developing. This will leave a band of discoloration in the tooth corresponding to when the illness occurred.
Extrinsic staining is caused by what we do and what we eat. Cigarette smoking or coffee, for example, can cover the outside of the tooth, causing it to stain. Technically, anything darker than steam distilled spring water can stain our teeth.
What can I do to prevent tooth stains?
Whitening solutions have properties that attack and remove stains on healthy teeth without damaging tooth structure. This works best on teeth with yellow extrinsic stains. It is less effective on gray extrinsic stains, or intrinsic stains. I’ve only found one whitening system that works predictably on intrinsic stains inside the teeth.
Are whitening solutions dangerous?
Whitening solutions have some drawbacks. They can cause teeth to be more sensitive, especially in younger people or if there is exposed root surface. That’s why it is best if these products are administered under the supervision of a dentist. Dentists can use products to reduce sensitivity before and after a whitening treatment.