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.

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Yellow teeth

Types of Dental Stains

Extrinsic

Stains affecting the enamel (the outermost layer of the tooth) are easiest to treat.

Intrinsic

When the dentin (tissue between the enamel and pulp) becomes stained, concealment is usually the best treatment.

Age-Related

Enamel can become worn and dentin becomes yellowed over time. This combination gives teeth a darker color.

Why do some people have stained teeth while others have white smiles?

A Closer Look at What Causes Stains

Foods

Many common foods and condiments, including tomato sauce, red and white wine, mustard, berries, tea, coffee, and soda cause stains over time.

Meds and Supplements

Children 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.

Nicotine

When nicotine combines with oxygen, it turns yellow. Over the years, nicotine can stain enamel and the outer layers of dentin.

Genetics

Some of us are born with darker teeth, while others are born with weak enamel that can stain easily.

Should I just buy an over-the-counter whitener?

"If you choose to use a bleaching product, you should only do so after consultation with a dentist. This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains." American Dental Association

How to Avoid Dental Stains

Brush after Meals

It is difficult to completely avoid foods that cause stains. Brushing immediately after meals or at least rinsing your mouth with water can curb staining.
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Use a Straw

It'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.
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Stop Using Nicotine

Quitting nicotine use of any kind is advisable for many reasons, but it can also help you avoid dental stains.

How do I know which type of stain is affecting my teeth?

Two Key Assessments

The Appearance of Your Teeth

Dentists 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 History

Teeth 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.

How can I get rid of these dental stains?

Stains Can Be Eliminated or Hidden

Teeth Whitening

If 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.
dental-veneers

Porcelain Veneers

If 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 Bonding

Bonding is an affordable alternative to veneers. It involves applying resin to a tooth in a way that hides imperfections and looks natural.

Dental Crowns

If you have severe intrinsic staining resulting from a root canal or another factor, a dental crown may be the best solution.

I want a brighter smile. What should I do?

Discuss Your Goals with Your Dentist

Dental stains can rob you of your confidence. The good news is that there are many ways to address this issue and achieve beautiful, natural-looking results. Talk to your dentist today about illuminating your smile.

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Irving Office

7423 Las Colinas Blvd
Ste 101
Irving, TX 75063

Open Today 10:00am - 7:00pm

Friday and Saturday by appointment only