Teeth Discoloration – Types and Treatment

Posted on : 09-01-2015 | By : Haddon Suttner | In : Preventive Dentistry, Tooth Whitening

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Teeth discoloration is a cosmetic problem that arises when the enamel (outer hard surface of the tooth) or the dentine (the layer below the enamel) become tarnished or stained. The teeth may become discolored by stains on the surface, called Extrinsic Discoloration or by changes within the tooth, called Intrinsic Discoloration. Teeth may also become discolored due to age factor. Food or drinks may also be responsible for teeth discoloration. There are effective remedies available for tooth discoloration caused by external factors. Regular professional cleaning and good home care can help prevent teeth discoloration.



Extrinsic discoloration is mainly caused by beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, lemon juice. Foods like berries, soya sauce also stain and discolor teeth. Smoking is another major cause of teeth discoloration. Intrinsic discoloration is mainly caused by side effects of drugs. Some drugs are harmful for the teeth of kids. These drugs can stain, even harm the teeth completely. Taking too much fluoride also cause the formation of white lines on teeth. Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth can be prevented by removing the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) followed by non-vital bleaching. Teeth generally become more yellow and gray with increasing age. Persons of different ages are vulnerable to various types of internally induced and externally induced tooth discolorations.


Treatment of Tooth Discoloration

Fortunately there are good treatments to that can help remove or minimize tooth discoloration.

  • Prevention – Quit smoking, if you are in this bad habit. Do brush and floss daily. Avoid food and drinks that can cause tooth discoloration.
  • Teeth Whitening – There are a number of teeth whitening techniques which can help overcoming tooth discoloration.
  • Laser Teeth Whitening – A special gel and an activating laser are used to remove the signs of tooth discoloration in about an hour. This procedure must be performed in a dentist’s office.
  • Dental Veneers – Veneers don’t remove the signs of discolored teeth but cover them up permanently. This is an option for those who have found other whitening methods ineffective.


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