It is easy to feel self-conscious and nervous about smiling when your teeth are discolored. It is a hard-psychological issue to move past. However, with some knowledge about teeth staining and how you can change your habits, you can move forward with a more confident and whiter smile. 

There are three major types of tooth discoloration

In the field of oral health, professionals talk about three major types of teeth staining, where they come from, and how they can be treated. Sometimes, teeth staining is the cause of both biological and environmental factors. 

Tooth discoloration falls into three categories:

  • Extrinsic Teeth Stains
  • Intrinsic Teeth Stains
  • Age-related Teeth Stains

Extrinsic Teeth Stains

These are referred to as surface stains. Eating certain foods and drinking certain drinks will lead to a pigmented residue being left on the surface of the tooth. This buildup or film then covers the enamel. This type of discoloration responds well to regular dental cleanings and brushing with a whitening toothpaste. 

Intrinsic Teeth Stains

Stains can occur below the surface of the tooth and then find their way forward. This happens when the stain particles work their way through the tooth’s exterior. Studies have been performed that suggest heavy use of fluoride, especially in children, have resulted in this kind of discoloration. Professional bleaching or at-home teeth whitening products may help reduce this type of teeth staining. 

Age-Related Teeth Stains

Unfortunately, most of these stains are biological, and there is very little that can be done to stop it from occurring. Over time, the accumulation of both extrinsic and intrinsic staining combines with the naturally yellowing dentin (core tissue). As the enamel becomes thinner, the dentin can show through and the yellow of this tissue creates discoloration. 

Most adult teeth will discolor as people age. This is an inevitable process of life; however, you can take control of your teeth while you are young and make changes that will positively impact your dental health.

Most Common Causes of Dental Discoloration

In most instances, teeth staining is caused by a combination of both the things we consume and our inherent biology. While we cannot necessarily help our biology, we can watch the things we ingest and avoid foods and medications that can enhance the discoloration. 

To do so, try limiting or keeping away from: 

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Dark sodas
  • Red wine
  • Cigarettes
  • Chewing tobacco 
  • High blood pressure medicines
  • Chemotherapy
  • Antihistamines
  • Some antipsychotics 

In addition to these items, both trauma and disease can lead to teeth staining in both adults and children. 

We need to know what kind of stains you are dealing with in order to recommend treatment! 

At the Complete Dentistry of Orland Park, we provide full dental services, including routine care. Maintaining good oral health care is the first big step in reducing your teeth discoloration. Here are a few more steps to make the most out of your treatment:

  • Maintain a consistent oral health routine by brushing twice daily and flossing once daily.
  • Schedule visits with your preferred dental health care professional two times per year.
  • Limit your consumption of teeth staining beverages and substances.
  • Consider regular whitening maintenance.

Visit a dentist you trust as a leader for your oral health! 

At the Complete Dentistry of Orland Park, our professionals are here to guide you. Find out what whitening maintenance is good for you based on your current teeth stains. We can help reduce the staining in both extrinsic and intrinsic teeth stains to give you a brighter, whiter smile. There are a variety of methods to try, including whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, or in-office whitening that can make a big difference on your smile. 

Trust me, once you start practicing these routine care techniques, you’ll be smiling longer and wider!