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Types of Tooth Stains and How to Treat Them

Filed under: Uncategorized — drdeangelo @

Shade guide next to man’s teethYou can’t put a price on the benefits of having bright white teeth. However, teeth come in many shades and tones naturally. They also change color over the years from various factors, like the foods you eat. No amount of brushing can reverse tooth discoloration and over-the-counter products won’t do much good because they don’t contain professional strength whitening agents. Here’s what’s causing your discoloration and what your dentist can do to reveal a whiter smile.

Types of Tooth Stains

Did you know not all types of tooth stains are the same? Tooth discoloration is classified as:

  • Extrinsic Stains: Surface stains affect the enamel and are caused by external factors, like drinking a lot of coffee, smoking, or poor oral hygiene.
  • Intrinsic Stains: Stains originating from the tooth structure are more difficult to treat, like those caused by medications or health conditions.
  • Age-Related Stains: Enamel gets thinner with age, which causes more yellowish dentin to be visible. Age-related discoloration is a combination of surface and intrinsic stains.

Common Causes of Tooth Stains

Although everyone’s teeth change color over time, many factors can accelerate discoloration, like:

  • Diet: Consuming a lot of dark foods and drinks can stain your enamel, like coffee, red wine, or blackberries.
  • Tobacco: Smoking and tobacco can result in tar and nicotine stains.
  • Oral Hygiene: Poor brushing and flossing habits can cause plaque buildup that can affect the color of your teeth.
  • Dental Care: Irregular dental care can cause accumulations on your teeth.
  • Damage: Decay, infections, and other issues can affect the color of a tooth.

Treating Tooth Stains

Your dentist will examine your mouth to determine the source of your discoloration. They’ll create the personalized plan you need to refresh your smile, like:

  • In-Office Teeth Whitening: Your teeth can get up to 8 shades whiter over your lunch break. After placing a protective barrier on your gums and lips, a highly concentrated whitening agent is applied to your teeth, which is activated using a special dental light for three 15-minute intervals.
  • Take-Home Teeth Whitening: You can achieve in-office results from the comfort of your home. Your cosmetic dentist will give you everything you need to whiten your teeth gradually for 2 weeks.
  • Porcelain Veneers: If you have stubborn stains or other issues you’d like to address, porcelain veneers can cover the imperfections. They improve the overall color, size, and shape of your teeth.

If your smile looks dull or discolored, your cosmetic dentist can revamp your pearly whites. You will look and feel your best with results that can last for many months or years with the correct aftercare.

About Dr. Alan. R. DeAngelo

Dr. DeAngelo earned his dental degree at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and has regularly pursued continuing education in advanced services, like esthetic dentistry, implant dentistry, and prosthodontics. He strives to provide the most up-to-date services. If you’re ready to improve your smile, choose an award-winning dentist. Request an appointment online or call (815) 671-4058.

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