Dental Conditions > Stained Teeth
Dental stains do not affect your oral health, but they can certainly make you hesitate to smile.
There are many treatments that can brighten your smile, depending on the type of stains affecting your teeth.
ExtrinsicStains affecting the enamel (the outermost layer of the tooth) are easiest to treat.
IntrinsicWhen the dentin (tissue between the enamel and pulp) becomes stained, concealment is usually the best treatment.
Age-RelatedEnamel can become worn and dentin becomes yellowed over time. This combination gives teeth a darker color.
FoodsMany common foods and condiments, including tomato sauce, red and white wine, mustard, berries, tea, coffee, and soda cause stains over time.
Meds and SupplementsChildren 8 and younger can develop stains as tetracycline (an antibiotic) bonds to calcium in developing teeth. Ingesting large amounts of fluoride can result in brown dental stains.
NicotineWhen nicotine combines with oxygen, it turns yellow. Over the years, nicotine can stain enamel and the outer layers of dentin.
GeneticsSome of us are born with darker teeth, while others are born with weak enamel that can stain easily.
Brush after MealsIt is difficult to completely avoid foods that cause stains. Brushing immediately after meals or at least rinsing your mouth with water can curb staining.
Use a StrawIt’s not the ideal way to enjoy every beverage, but if you indulge in tea, iced coffee, or cola, a straw can help keep your teeth bright.
Stop Using NicotineQuitting nicotine use of any kind is advisable for many reasons, but it can also help you avoid dental stains.
The Appearance of Your TeethDentists can often identify stain types just by looking at the tooth. Extrinsic stains are often yellow or yellowish-brown, and cover the tooth. Intrinsic stains are often localized, looking like an isolated patch.
Medical HistoryTeeth that have undergone a root canal will often develop intrinsic stains over time. If you were exposed to tetracycline in utero or in early childhood, or if you grew up in an area with heavily fluoridated water, this probably means your stains are intrinsic.
Teeth WhiteningIf you have extrinsic stains, whitening treatment supervised by a dentist is the best way to achieve a brighter smile. Your doctor may also recommend internal bleaching after a root canal.
Porcelain VeneersIf you have intrinsic stains or if you don’t qualify for whitening, you can conceal your stains with custom porcelain shells that attach to the front of your teeth.
Dental BondingBonding is an affordable alternative to veneers. It involves applying resin to a tooth in a way that hides imperfections and looks natural.
If you have severe intrinsic staining resulting from a root canal or another factor, a dental crown may be the best solution.
- Bone Graft
- Bruxism Treatment
- Cleanings and Exams
- Crown Lengthening
- Dental Bonding
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Fillings
- Dental Implants
- Dental Sealants
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
- Gum Contouring
- Gum Disease Treatment
- Implant Restoration
- Inlays and Onlays
- Invisalign vs. Braces
- Oral Appliance Therapy
- Porcelain Veneers
- Root Canal
- Six Month Smiles
- Sleep Apnea Treatment
- Smile Makeover
- Teeth in a Day
- Teeth Whitening
- TMJ Treatment
- Tooth Extraction
- Types of Gum Surgery