Different Types of Tooth Discoloration

White smile

For a patient seeking teeth whitening, they may not know that there are two different types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic tooth discoloration. Fortunately, experienced dental professionals understand the difference between the two and know the best treatments for restoring and enhancing patients’ teeth so they can open up to the world again with a bright, confident smile.

Extrinsic tooth discoloration

Most patients are familiar with this type of discoloration as it forms on the enamel, the surface layer of the tooth. It’s what many people think of when they hear about tooth stains or discoloration. The causes of extrinsic tooth discoloration include:

  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Tobacco product use
  • Dark fruits or vegetables including beets, carrots, blueberries

Treating extrinsic tooth discoloration involves traditional teeth whitening treatments with a bleaching agent that brightens and whitens the stains to remove them effectively. For particularly deep extrinsic tooth discoloration, dentists may suggest tooth bonding or porcelain veneers cover the stains and make them invisible.

Intrinsic tooth discoloration

This type of discoloration consists of stains that emerge from within the tooth instead of appearing on the outside of it. Although intrinsic tooth stains aren’t something many people know about or understand, they can greatly affect smile aesthetics. Causes of intrinsic tooth discoloration include:

  • Congenital tooth discoloration
  • Fluoride overexposure
  • Infections or injuries in teeth
  • Antibiotic use at young age
  • Medical issue side effect

Treatments for intrinsic tooth stains usually involve concealing the tooth because whitening only works on the surface of the teeth. These concealing treatments include dental bonding, porcelain veneers or dental crowns for more serious stains.

Age-related tooth discoloration

As a result of the natural aging process, teeth can suffer age-related tooth discoloration that combines both extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Years of exposure to stain-causing elements, wear and tear and other aging factors lead to age-related tooth discoloration. Treating this form of discoloration involves a combination of treatments including teeth whitening, dental bonding, veneers and other cosmetic restorations. Dentist custom design treatments for age-related tooth discoloration for each patient to ensure a natural-looking result.

Suffering any tooth discoloration can make patients feel self-conscious and too embarrassed to smile, but today’s dental treatments offer a variety of ways to deal with all kinds of tooth stains. Restore the healthy brightness of your teeth, boost your confidence and obtain a more youthful appearance by contacting Chianese Dental and asking about our teeth whitening options including in-office treatments such as ZOOM.

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