Over the counter whitening products, such as toothpaste, gels, strips, and mouthwashes, usually can remove stains from teeth. However, not all teeth stains are alike, and many times, the stains on your teeth can reflect your overall oral health. Simple discolorations from drinking coffee and not brushing as often as you should only reflect lightly on your teeth, and can be easily corrected. However, long-term stains can have a significant impact on both physical and mental health. Whitening treatments can offer longer-lasting solutions to harder-to-remove stains, and depending on the type of stains you have, teeth whitening can remove stains that won’t go away with over-the-counter products.
Causes of Teeth Stains
Teeth stains can result from many different factors, from the food you eat to your medical history. Some teeth stains can be easily prevented, while others can be beyond your control.
Food and Drinks: Certain foods, such as coffee, tea, sodas, red wines, and even some fruits and vegetables, can cause teeth discoloration. These types of foods usually contain chromogens and other chemicals that stain the tooth enamel.
Tobacco products: Cigarettes, cigarillos, and cigars, can contribute to teeth discoloration. Chewing, smoking, and dipping tobacco can cause the particles inside to stick to the pores of the enamel, causing the teeth to become darker over time.
Poor Hygiene: Poor dental practices, such as inadequate brushing and flossing, can lead to teeth discoloration.
Trauma and Illness: Trauma to adult teeth can cause discoloration, as well as any trauma that occurs during the development of the child in the womb or while the teeth are developing. Certain diseases and their disease treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can discolor teeth.
Medical treatments: Some medical treatments can cause teeth stains, such as high blood pressure medications, anti-psychotics, and birth control medications, which can cause teeth stains.
Types of Tooth Discolorations and Stains
Extrinsic Teeth Stains: These stains build up over the enamel of the tooth caused by foods, drinks, and tobacco products. Extrinsic tooth stains respond well to healthy dental practices such as dental cleanings, brushing, flossing, and whitening toothpaste.
Intrinsic Teeth Stains: Intrinsic teeth stains occur below the enamel of the tooth, usually occurring when the particles on the exterior of the tooth accumulate within the enamel and then reach under the surface. Typically harder to clean, intrinsic stains can be removed with professional teeth whitening products.
Teeth Stains Caused by Age: Teeth stains caused by age can have both extrinsic and intrinsic teeth discoloration. The dentin of the tooth, the core tissues, will naturally yellow with age, and the enamel covering the teeth will thin. These types of stains can be treated with both at-home and professional whitening treatments.
At Dr. Duc Pham’s office, we’ll help you find your smile again through our own teeth whitening treatments. Premier Dental of South Orange County is made up of a highly professional team of dentists dedicated to helping you control your oral health and keeping it healthy. Located in Aliso Viejo, CA, Dr. Pham will guide you towards more youthful, whiter teeth with every appointment.