Human teeth are not naturally pure white. Instead, it is common for the dental enamel to be off white, yellow, and even gray. However, the natural color of the teeth can be affected by your personal habits and activities, leading to a buildup of surface stains. This is what is known as discolored teeth.
At Alberta Street Dentistry, we want all of our patients to be satisfied with their smiles. This is why we currently offer cosmetic dental treatments like teeth whitening to eliminate stains and recolor surface enamel.
But what can cause discolored teeth in the average person?
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic
Discoloration can be caused by internal or external factors, so our dentist might label your teeth as having intrinsic or extrinsic discoloration.
If your teeth have intrinsic discoloration, then the changes to the shade of your teeth are being caused by some sort of internal feature. This type of discoloration often causes darkening underneath the surface enamel and can be caused by one of the following:
- Internal bleeding
- The use of certain medications
- Exposure to high amounts of fluoride
In these situations, basic teeth whitening will not be sufficient to affect discoloration. Our dentist will instead need to either treat the interior of the tooth to stop bleeding or provide an alternative like the use of dental veneers.
Extrinsic discoloration is that which affects the surface of your teeth. These stains can be brushed away and eliminated through teeth whitening treatments but can be reoccurring if you do not change your habits.
Some of the most frequent causes of extrinsic discoloration include:
- Smoking substances of any kind
- Chewing tobacco
- Drinking coffee, wine, tea, and soda on a regular basis
When you have this type of discoloration, treatment is quite simple. Our dentist will professionally clean your teeth and can then apply a peroxide solution to break down the surface stains. Afterward, it is recommended you improve your habits and oral hygiene regimen at home. Using a fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash on a regular basis can prevent stains from developing.