Most people like seeing a full set of pearly whites smiling back at them when they look in the mirror. If you have discolored or stained teeth, however, you might find your smile lackluster or even embarrassing, and you might wonder, can teeth stains be removed? Fortunately, they can! Keep reading to learn about why you might have stains on your teeth and what can be done about them.
What Causes Teeth Stains?
Tooth staining can occur for a variety of reasons. Many times, it has to do with what you put in your mouth. Remember, teeth are porous and can absorb the hues of various foods, drinks, and other substances. Some foods and beverages that can discolor your teeth include:
- Cola, root beer, and other dark-colored sodas
- Red wine
- Tomato sauce
- Grape or cranberry juice
In addition, smoking or chewing tobacco can stain your teeth.
Not all tooth discoloration stems from food and drink. In some cases, medications you’re taking can cause stains. Treatments including antihistamines, blood pressure medications, antipsychotic medications, and chemotherapy can cause teeth stains.1
Trauma can also cause staining in some cases.
Poor dental hygiene is another cause. Plaque and tartar can accumulate on the teeth and cause discoloration over time.
What Are the Different Types of Teeth Stains?
Not all tooth discoloration is the same; there are different types of staining that need to be addressed in different ways. Stains can be divided into three different types2:
- Extrinsic stains. These come from substances that stain the outside layers of your teeth, like food, beverages, and tobacco. Plaque and tartar accumulation also causes extrinsic staining.
- Intrinsic stains. These come from causes that cause discoloration from the inside of the tooth. Medications and trauma are common causes of intrinsic staining.
- Age-related stains. As you age, your enamel wears down and you might also be taking medications that cause staining. As a result, age-related staining can be extrinsic, intrinsic, or a combination of the two.
What Are the Top Procedures for Teeth Stains?
Now that you know about the different types and causes of staining, you probably want to know how teeth stains can be removed. Depending on what’s causing the staining, your dental professional will be able to offer you various options:
Some teeth whitening products are available over-the-counter and can be used at home without the need for dental care. These include whitening toothpastes and trays that you buy at the pharmacy. This option is convenient, but it’s only moderately useful for light surface stains on the outer layers of the teeth.
Your dentist can also create custom tooth whitening trays to be used with a stronger bleaching agent. You would use this bleaching gel in the trays as directed to remove extrinsic staining.
Laser teeth whitening is another popular option. This entails coating the teeth with a bleaching gel that is activated by a safe laser. If you’re looking for quick results, this is a great option, as it takes only an hour or two in the office and results are immediately apparent.
Lumineers are a type of veneer, which is a thin laminate material that sits on top of your teeth. Unlike traditional veneers, Lumineers don’t require the dentist to grind down or re-shape your natural teeth.
Get Whiter Teeth with Top Beverly Hills Dentist
Dr. Goodman has been voted “Best Dentist” and “Top Dentist” for several years and is the dental professional you need for teeth whitening and general oral health. He’s whitened the teeth of several beauty pageant contestants, and he can remove your teeth stains, too! Schedule your appointment today.