Types of Tooth Stains
The two basic categories of staining include extrinsic and intrinsic staining. Extrinsic stains result from exposure to dark-colored beverages, certain foods, and tobacco, as well as typical wear and tear. Superficial extrinsic stains can be removed with brushing or routine dental cleaning. Eliminating more deeply seated stains may require teeth bleaching. If extrinsic stains are not dealt with as soon as possible, they may penetrate the dentin.
Often, patients choose to undergo teeth whitening before receiving porcelain veneers or other treatments in order to achieve a more dramatic smile upgrade.
Intrinsic stains resulting from aging, trauma, or exposure to minerals or excessive fluoride are found on the interior of teeth. After advancement in the technologies used to eliminate intrinsic stains, cosmetic dentists can remove even serious intrinsic stains through the use of take-home teeth whitening kits that are monitored over a matter of months.
Causes of Tooth Stains
- There is a direct correlation between tooth discoloration and age. Teeth darken as the result of every day wear and tear and stain buildup. The older a patient is, the more maintenance that may be required to remove the stains, as the teeth have absorbed the color more deeply.
- The inborn color of your teeth often dictates which direction on the spectrum teeth stains will go as well as how responsive your teeth will be to whitening.
- Translucency and thinness are genetic traits that become more distinct with age. All teeth show some translucency, but because they appear lighter in color and show more sparkle, those that are opaque and solid have the advantage of a higher response to bleaching. Teeth that are thinner and more transparent have less bleachable material and may not react as favorably to teeth whitening techniques.
- Those who consume red wine, coffee, tea, soda, carrots, oranges, and other deeply colored beverages and foods on a regular basis can experience significant staining.
- Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and vinegar, contribute to the erosion of enamel as well. As a result of this erosion, the surface of the teeth becomes more transparent and more yellow-colored pigment can be seen.
- Nicotine leaves brown-colored residue that slowly soaks into the structure of the tooth and causes intrinsic discoloration, which is why habitual smokers tend to experience heavy staining.
- Traumatic falls or injuries can lead to substantial cracks in the teeth, which accumulate large amounts of debris that cause staining.
Opalescence® Take-Home Whitening Kit
At Clint Newman, DDS, we believe that Opalescence® Take-Home Whitening Gels can produce some of the best teeth whitening results to his Nashville patients. The kits utilize a peroxide gel applied to the teeth using bleaching trays that resemble mouth guards and remain on the teeth for an hour or longer.
After Teeth Whitening
While teeth whitening carries few inherent risks and side effects, patients can expect some discomfort in their teeth and possibly gums after treatment. This is due to the active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, which is responsible for expunging stains from teeth. Although the effects are brief and usually mild, you should be aware of the common side effects from whitening.
Learn More about Teeth Whitening
For more information on the different teeth whitening options available at Dr. Newman’s Nashville office, please contact us online today, or call (615) 385-3507 to schedule an appointment.