In the United States, over 90% of adults aged 20-64 have experienced some degree of tooth discoloration.
However, not all types of teeth stains are the same or have the same causes. If you’ve been suffering from tooth discoloration, it might be impacting your self-confidence. Thankfully, there are ways to clear up discolored teeth.
Read on for our breakdown of the three main types of teeth stains, and how to remove them.
Understanding Tooth Discoloration
When your teeth get stained or darker, this is called tooth discoloration. There are many things that can cause your teeth to change color.
Some reasons are unavoidable – like age, trauma, or disease. Other reasons, like smoking and not taking care of your teeth, can be avoided.
Tooth staining can usually be fixed or made better with professional dental cleanings, teeth whitening, or other cosmetic dentistry choices. This can bring back the natural whiteness of the teeth and make the smile look better.
Breaking Down the Types of Teeth Stains
There are three kinds of tooth stains: those caused by the outside, those caused by the inside, and those caused by getting older.
In the medical field, those three are known as extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related causes.
1. Extrinsic Stains
Extrinsic tooth discoloration happens when the top layer of the tooth, called the enamel, gets stained by things like smoking, drinking coffee, wine, cola, and other foods and drinks, as well as by the way you live your life.
Extrinsic spots are on the outside of the tooth and can make it look yellow.
2. Intrinsic Stains
Intrinsic tooth discoloration happens when the inside of the tooth, called the dentin, turns dark or yellow.
This can happen if you take certain medicines, hurt or break a tooth, get too much tooth rot, or use too much fluoride. Intrinsic spots are much harder to get rid of because they are part of the tooth itself.
3. Teeth Stains Caused by Age
Teeth spots that come with getting older have both external and internal reasons. Not only can foods and drinks damage your teeth over time, but the dentin under the enamel can also turn yellow over time.
As you get older, the top layer of your teeth, called enamel, erodes. This lets the yellowed dentin below show through.
Dental Care For Discolored Teeth
Using fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing every day can help keep your teeth from getting stained.
Also, going to the dentist regularly lets him or her clean and polish your teeth professionally and check the health of your mouth as a whole.
But the best way to get rid of spots on your teeth is to have them whitened or to get porcelain veneers done by a professional.
It’s a great option, and you can rely on your teeth staying bright. You can learn more about porcelain veneers here.
Discovering Dental Health for Discolored Teeth
A lot of us come face-to-teeth (pun intended) with discolorations that are out of our control. Thankfully, there’s a solution for each of the different types of teeth stains.
We hope that our guide has given you a solid understanding of what tooth discoloration is all about.
And, when it comes to dental health tips, you should check out our health section to learn more about all things oral health.