Types of Tooth Discoloration: Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Age-Related Stains

Types of Tooth Discoloration: Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Age-Related Stains

Porcelain Veneers, Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Whitening, Tooth Discoloration, Smile Makeover
PGA Dentistry
November 03, 2014
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When people in the Palm Beach Gardens area want to have beautiful smiles, they can rely on the team here at PGACenter for Advanced Dentistry. We offer the latest in advanced cosmetic dentistry treatments, including professional teeth whitening that will bleach stains and make smiles look their whitest. Teeth whitening isn't the only option, however.

Many people think that there is only one kind of dental stain that can affect their smiles. We'd like to take this opportunity to cover the various kinds of tooth discoloration that may affect you.

Extrinsic Dental Stains

Extrinsic dental stains refer to dental stains that originate on the surface layer of the teeth. These are the kinds of dental stains that we are most familiar with, and the ones that, in general, are the easiest (in theory) to prevent.

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

  • Coffee

  • Red wine

  • Tea

  • Colas

  • Tobacco products

  • Curries

  • Carrots

  • Blueberries

  • Beets

  • Tomatoes

  • Tooth decay

Treatments for Extrinsic Dental Saints

In many cases, the ideal treatment for extrinsic dental stains is teeth whitening treatment. During teeth whitening treatment, bleaching agents are applied directly to the surface of the teeth in order to whiten the stained enamel. Professional bleaching is far more effective than over-the-counter products.

For major extrinsic dental stains that do not respond well to bleaching, the ideal option to consider is dental bonding or the use of porcelain veneers.

Intrinsic Dental Stains

Intrinsic dental stains are a kind of tooth discoloration that originates from within the tooth. Some of the most common causes of intrinsic dental stains include:

  • Injury to the tooth

  • Infection of the tooth

  • Tetracycline use

  • Side effects of certain medications

  • Fluoride overexposure

  • Congenital tooth discoloration

Treatments for Intrinsic Dental Saints

When treating intrinsic tooth discoloration, the use of teeth whitening treatments will not be an option. Teeth whitening gels will only address the topmost layer of the teeth, meaning that the root cause of the stain will not be addressed directly.

The most ideal options for intrinsic dental stains are porcelain veneers and tooth bonding as these solutions are designed to conceal the stain/discoloration from view. Dental crowns may be used in cases of severe discoloration of a structurally damaged tooth.

Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Age-related tooth discoloration is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic dental staining. This is to be expected with advanced age simply given the amount of wear and tear the teeth will go through over time.

Treatments for Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Since age-related tooth discoloration involves a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic dental stains, the use of professional teeth whitening as well as porcelain veneers and tooth bonding may all be considered. It really depends on the nature and extent of the stains. During your consultation, you will receive customized and detailed information about the ideal treatment option for you and your needs.

Tips for Preventing Tooth Discoloration

Here are a few basic tips for preventing tooth discoloration:

  • Quit using or simply do not use tobacco products

  • Be wary when consuming foods that cause dental stains

  • Drink water to stay hydrated and remove food particles

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day

  • Floss your teeth at least once a night

  • Visit your dentist twice a year for routine exams

Learn More About Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment

For more information about tooth discoloration causes and how you can have a smile that's bright and white again, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. We at PGA Center for Advanced Dentistry look forward to your visit and helping you make the best possible choices when it comes to your dental health, aesthetics, and overall wellness.

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