What Causes the Teeth to Become Stained and Discolored?

Dr. Heather F. Fleschler hears from many of her patients about the  need for a brighter smile. In fact, professional brightening has grown tremendously in popularity because it is safe, easy, and affordable. Patients can improve their self-confidence quickly and easily with our teeth whitening options. However, many patients also want to know how to keep their teeth brilliant and beautiful. They may ask, what causes the teeth to become stained and discolored?

Types of dental stains

First and foremost, it is vital that patients understand what types of stains are impacting their smiles.

  • Extrinsic stains – extrinsic stains are discoloration on the surface of the tooth enamel that is often caused by pigmentation in foods and drinks. This may be the consumption of dark sodas, coffees, and red wines. Extrinsic stains may also include stains caused by tobacco use. Most extrinsic stains can be avoided with regular professional dental cleanings and brushing and flossing at home with whitening toothpastes.
  • Intrinsic stains – intrinsic stains are stains that occur below the tooth’s surface. This may be caused by certain medications or excessive fluoride use. While trickier to remove, it can be done with the right whitening solution.
  • Age-related or genetic stains – both intrinsic and extrinsic stains can result in age-related stains. The dentin, or the core tissue of the teeth, naturally yellows over time. Additionally, some patients may be genetically predisposed to having darker teeth than others.

What causes the teeth to become stained and discolored?

As seen from the staining types above, most concerns develop with time and consumption of staining foods and beverages. In most cases, patients can avoid these foods and beverages to reduce the likelihood of staining their teeth. Additionally, stopping smoking or chewing tobacco can also make a noticeable improvement in the coloring of the natural tooth enamel. Patients are urged to speak with their dentist about ways to improve the color of their smile, especially if they are considering professional-grade teeth whitening treatments.

Learn more about tooth whitening solutions at the practice of Dr. Heather F. Fleschler

If you reside in or around the community of Houston, TX and want to enhance your smile, we welcome you to speak to our team about professional teeth whitening options. Our practice is located in Suite #200 at 5252 Westchester Street and can be reached for an appointment at (713) 660-6500.

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