Treating Teeth Stains

Strobel Dentistry

How to Prevent Teeth Stains

Definition of Dental Stains

Very simply, the discoloration of your teeth due to a variety of factors. Dental stains can be broken down into two categories:

  • Extrinsic staining – Pigmented deposits found on the tooth surface that are caused by topical or external agents.
  • Intrinsic staining – Stains incorporated within the tooth structure.
  • Causes of Stains on Teeth:
  • Extrinsic staining
  • Plaque
  • Calculus
  • Foods and beverages
  • Tobacco
  • Certain types of bacteria and topical medications
  • Enamel defects
  • Salivary dysfunction
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Small grooves, pits or fissures in the tooth surface.
  • Intrinsic staining:
  • Dental restorations (i.e. corroded amalgam fillings)
  • Dental decay
  • Trauma to a tooth
  • Necrotic or infected nerve
  • Infections
  • Medications (i.e. Tetracycline)
  • Genetic defects
  • Hereditary diseases such as hypocalcification or fluorosis that affect dentin and enamel development

Treatment Options for Teeth Stains:

In-office: Extrinsic Staining:

  • Professional teeth cleaning – Keeping up with your regular recall appointments will help keep stains to a minimum.
    Professional whitening – We offer in-office, at-home and over the counter options to meet your needs. Read more here!
    Intrinsic Staining:
  • This type of stain requires permanent restoration – i.e., replacing an old amalgam filling or placing a new veneer/crown/etc.
    In some cases of hypo calcification and fluorosis, microabrasion can be performed. When in conjunction with in-office whitening, desired results MAY be achieved. This depends on the depth of the stain.

At-home: Extrinsic Staining only:

  • Watch what you eat! Keep track of how much stain occurs how frequently with different foods/beverages and reduce consumption accordingly. Anything that can stain a white shirt can stain your teeth!
  • Rinse with water after consuming dark, sugary and acidic foods
  • Don’t smoke!
  • Consider shorter recalls – getting a professional cleaning more often can reduce your overall amount of stain.
  • Brushing at least 2 times a day- especially after consumption of staining agent. Consider an electric toothbrush!
  • Over the counter whitening products (whitening strips, toothpaste, rinses etc.) If you choose to use a whitening toothpaste, we recommend using a sensitive whitening toothpaste brand such as Sensodyne Whitening to prevent gum sensitivity and recession.