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There are many reasons why teeth can become discolored. Dentists have categorized causes of tooth discoloration into 2 types: Extrinsic and Intrinsic.
Extrinsic Staining – This type of discoloration is usually superficial and appears yellow and spread out over the entire tooth. It’s normally a result of eating food or drinking beverages that have very strong colors in them. Probably the worst culprit is black tea, as the high concentration of tannins get caught in minuscule crevices in the teeth, leaving the tooth stained. Other sources of extrinsic discoloration are berries, coffee, wine, and smoking.
Intrinsic Staining – This type of discoloration is not usually spread out over an entire tooth, but rather is usually small, localized, and very dark. These stains are much deeper in the tooth and are basically built into the tooth. These stains appear most often as a side effect of some medications. They can also appear as a result of disease, overexposure to fluoride, or as a result of the dentin layer of the teeth showing when the outer enamel layer erodes.
Have these stains? Luckily there are ways to clean or hide them! Generally, removing extrinsic stains is much easier than dealing intrinsic stains, as intrinsic stains usually have to be hidden.
Whitening Extrinsic Teeth stains – These stains can usually be removed by in-office teeth whitening or take home teeth whitening kits. You can also help avoid getting the stains in the first place by rinsing out your mouth with water after eating tooth-staining food. Whatever you do, don’t brush your teeth after eating staining food, as staining foods are generally also acidic and brushing right after eating acidic food can erode the enamel layer of your teeth.
Whitening Intrinsic Teeth stains – These stains usually can’t be treated with regular teeth whitening solutions and these stains need to be covered up. This can be accomplished through the use of dental veneers or dental crowns. These stains are also harder to avoid, as they may be a result of an important medication you are taking. It’s also hard to know when your teeth are over-fluoridated until the stains already appear on your teeth. Veneers and crowns cover up the stains and are do not stain from medication and fluoride.
According to a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, there are a few things you may be doing that are destroying your teeth… Brushing too soon after eating Consuming acidic foods and beverages is a part of everyone’s diet. Whether it is a citrus fruit or a glass of wine, these contain a lot […]
Repeated use of whitening strips might sound dangerous to your teeth, but, according to dental professionals, there is no harm to using whitening strips over time. Dr. Denis Kinane, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, said in a New York Times article that “there is no indication that frequent, long-term use […]
When you think of the paradigm of good oral health, you may not think immediately of beavers. However, it’s true—these constructive little critters have good oral health, despite the fact that you don’t see beavers brushing and flossing! So what keeps their teeth in such good condition? They’ve got help right from the get-go with […]
Maybe you’ve seen the multi-colored bottles of minty-fresh mouthwash in the supermarket and have been wondering what the benefits are of adding mouthwash to your routine. Mouthwash won’t be the answer to all of your oral health needs, so read on to figure out what mouthwash can and can’t do for you. When adding mouthwash […]
When you think about dental hygiene for your kids, are brushing and flossing the only things that come to mind? These two items are highly important to maintain good oral health, but recently, the American Dental Association “recommends earlier fluoride distribution for children,” meaning parents will have to put a tad more effort in caring […]
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