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Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist

These Stains Aren't the Same: Types of Tooth Discoloration

By Alex Hecht on August 23, 2016

Teeth whitening before and afterHere at Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist, we want to help each patient leave with a smile. They don't always come into the office that way, of course. Dental pain, poor alignment, gaps, crowding, and missing teeth can all impact the quality of your smile. Thanks to state-of-the-art cosmetic dentistry procedures and advanced restorative dentistry treatment, we can enhance dental heal and smile aesthetics.

Many patients who come to our practice have issues with tooth discoloration and dental stains. Not all stains are the same, however. Let's consider the three types of dental stains individually: extrinsic stains, intrinsic stains, and age-related discoloration.

About Extrinsic Dental Stains

Extrinsic dental stains refer to dental stains that emerge on the surface layer of the teeth. This means that the enamel becomes stained initially, with further stains potentially reaching further into the tooth structure.

Causes of Extrinsic Dental Stains

The most common causes of extrinsic dental stains tend to be common foods and beverages that we have every day. This includes coffee, tea, red wine, colas and soft drinks, beets, tomatoes, curries, and berries. In addition, smoking and chewing tobacco can also lead to extrinsic tooth discoloration.

Treatments for Extrinsic Dental Stains

When it comes to treating extrinsic dental stains, teeth whitening procedures are the most common solution. These will help bleach the discolored portion of the tooth. If teeth whitening doesn't work, the next best options are cosmetic dentistry staples such a dental bonding and porcelain veneers to mask the discoloration.

About Intrinsic Dental Stains

Intrinsic dental stains originate from within a tooth rather than on the surface of a tooth. This means that rather than starting at the enamel layer, the discoloration starts from the inner dentin layer and may affect the outer enamel of the tooth as well.

Causes of Intrinsic Dental Stains

Potential causes of intrinsic dental stains tend to involve dietary issues, medication side effects, and congenital problems. This could mean overexposure to fluoride when young, injury or trauma to a tooth, use of tetracycline at an early age, genetic tooth discoloration (rare).

Treatments for Intrinsic Dental Stains

The best way to deal with intrinsic dental stains is to mask the issue from view. That's why dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and even dental crowns are the first options considered. Teeth whitening is rarely ever considered for intrinsic dental stains since the bleaching agent will not be able to address the inner portions of the tooth structure.

About Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Age-related tooth discoloration is staining and tarnishing of the smile that is the result of advanced age. This tends to be noticeable during middle age, with more serious staining as the person gets older.

Causes of Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Age-related tooth discoloration is a mixture of extrinsic and intrinsic dental stains, which means a combination of the various matters mentioned above may contribute to the severity of the discoloration. A smile goes through a lot over the years, and it shows.

Treatments for Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Since a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors may be at work with age-related tooth discoloration, the best option for treatment typically involves some combination of cosmetic dentistry procedures that address the surface and the interior of a tooth. The ideal treatment approach can be discussed during the consultation process.

Learn More About Tooth Discoloration

For more information about the different causes of tooth stains and how we can help you have the brightest and whitest smile possible, be sure ot contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist will help you smile with renewed confidence.

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