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Tainted Teeth: 3 Types of Stains and How to Clear Them

May 2, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Stutman's Office @ 11:23 am
Before-and-after closeup of a smile that's been whitened

Did you know that according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, nearly half (45%) of people agree that your smile is your most attractive feature, regardless of age? It’s the first thing people notice about you when they meet you, and they can say a lot about who you are. For example, clean, bright white teeth are perceived as appealing because they’re usually accompanied by excellent oral health.

However, if your teeth are dark or stained, it can really affect how you feel about yourself. You might worry about what others think, and it’s not uncommon to feel a bit down or less inclined to socialize. But don’t worry, there are solutions!

Thankfully, your dentist can provide several cosmetic services that can enhance your appearance. Continue reading to learn more about the three types of tooth stains and how they can resolve the issue!

Type #1: Extrinsic Stains

This type of discoloration impacts the surface of your pearly whites and is typically caused by consuming dark foods and beverages over a period of time. Pigmented particles and residue cling to your enamel and leave your pearly whites looking worse for wear. If you regularly drink coffee, tea, soda, or red wine, then this could be the culprit behind your tinted teeth.

Fortunately, external stains are relatively simple to remedy. Your dentist can provide professional-grade whitening services in the office to brighten your smile by up to 8 shades in a single, hour-long appointment. However, many patients prefer to lighten their teeth from home or are anxious about sitting in the dentist’s chair. Because of this, many providers also offer take-home kits with high-quality gels and customized trays for optimal results.

Type #2: Intrinsic Stains

These blemishes originate beneath the surface of your teeth and, therefore, are more resistant to surface treatments like whitening. Potential causes include:

  • Certain prescription medications.
  • Trauma or injury.
  • Cavities or tooth decay.
  • Overexposure to fluoride.
  • Genetics.

Bleaching isn’t usually effective, but your dentist can perfect your grin with other solutions. For example, you can opt for porcelain veneers instead. These durable ceramic shells are color-matched to your smile and then bonded to the front surface of your teeth to mask aesthetic flaws.

Type #3: Age-Related Stains

Although enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it’s not completely invincible. After years of general use, it wears down, and the yellow layers underneath start to show through. On top of that, older adults have been exposing their teeth to darker foods for longer, which can contribute to a tainted appearance. Consulting with your dentist can verify what treatment would work best for your unique circumstances. Whether you opt for whitening, veneers, or dental bonding, your dentist has more than one way to improve your looks.

Regardless of the reason for your shadowy grin, your dentist can work with you to repair the damage and boost your confidence!

About the Practice

At South Shore Dental Care, you and your entire family benefit from two skilled dentists with decades of experience between them. They offer a full range of services to meet all your dental needs under one roof, including cosmetics. Whether you require basic preventative care or more complex procedures, they can help. They utilize state-of-the-art equipment for accurate and long-lasting treatments that are personalized for your unique circumstances. If you’re frustrated by flawed teeth, you can request a consultation on the website or by calling (516) 798-3808.

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