cleaningAre your teeth looking yellow, greenish, or even brownish? Or maybe you’re noticing just a few stains here and there. Well, there are several reasons your teeth may look discolored or stained. The most common reason and the one that is easiest to rectify is that you have some extrinsic staining going on. Another reason, one that is not so easy to rectify, and that may require a cosmetic procedure, is intrinsic staining. Why do your teeth look the way they do? Are your teeth discolored due to intrinsic or extrinsic stains?

What Are Extrinsic Tooth Stains?

Extrinsic tooth stains are external stains that usually come from smoking, and eating and drinking. Extrinsic stains are discolorations on the outside enamel of your tooth. They can usually be easily bleached away either with over-the-counter (OTC) products or a professional whitening. In your youth you may even be able to keep your teeth pretty white with regular dental cleanings, especially if you don’t drink coffee or tea on a regular basis. Some other foods and beverages that stain teeth are berries, sauces, red wine, and cola.

What Are Intrinsic Tooth Stains?

Intrinsic tooth stains are stains that are behind your tooth enamel. What is discolored is the dentin of your tooth, the part of your tooth behind the enamel, that houses the pulp. This type of staining usually occurs in utero, or before and during the development of your tooth. Some reasons for intrinsic staining include:

  • Thinning tooth enamel which shows more of the yellowish-colored dentin
  • The use of the antibiotic tetracycline by your mother during her pregnancy
  • You were prescribed tetracycline before or at the age of eight
  • You were exposed to too much fluoride during early childhood
  • You experienced internal bleeding within your tooth

Intrinsic tooth stains cannot be removed with bleaching, but can be treated with cosmetic bonding or dental veneers.

Visit Our Office in Baxter, MN!

Dr. Clinton L. Roberts and the friendly staff at Greenhaven Family Dental are happy to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile with a comprehensive approach to general dentistry. With years of training and experience in dental sleep medicine, Dr. Roberts is also adept at helping patients treat snoring and sleep apnea so they can rest more easily (and quietly). To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call our office in Baxter, MN, todayat (218) 454-0523. We proudly welcome patients from Brainerd, Little Falls, Staples, Crosby-Ironton-Deerwood, and all surrounding communities.