Tooth Stains: Everything you need to know

Tooth Stains: Everything you need to know

Are your teeth looking yellow? Or are there black spots on your teeth? Do you know this discolouration that you see on your teeth is known as ‘stains’.

Now many might ask what are stains? Why do they happen? Many other things besides food and drinks contribute to stains like smoking, tooth damage, drinking lots of tea, coffee, ageing, and prescription drugs.

There are 2 types of stains that a tooth can get- One, which might appear on the tooth’s topmost surface. Second, beneath the tooth enamel.

They are classified as intrinsic and extrinsic stains-

  • Intrinsic stains: Stains that are under the tooth’s surface are known as intrinsic stains. It happens when a stain-causing substance penetrates the outer layer of the tooth i.e. the tooth enamel.
  • Extrinsic stains: Stains on the tooth surface are known as extrinsic stains. It happens when stains accumulate on the tooth enamel, such as residue from coloured food or drinks. Chewing or smoking Tobacco, and lots of coffee/tea, wine, or cola are the main causes of extrinsic stains.

What are the different types of stains that one can see-

• Poor Oral Hygiene: Teeth might become discoloured because of poor oral care, such as insufficient brushing or flossing.

• Trauma or Developmental defects: A child’s teeth can get discoloured because of an injury, ailment issues, or a developmental disease that interferes with the formation of enamel. Teeth might get discoloured because of trauma to the adult teeth.

• Medical conditions: Many kinds of medicines, like some antihistamines, chemotherapy drugs, tetracycline, and some antipsychotic drugs, can stain teeth.

• Food & Drinks: Teeth stains can be caused by coffee, tea, dark sodas, red wine, few fruits- like berries and vegetables.

• Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco both have a very high potential to stain teeth. You might wonder how to get rid of these stains.

How to get rid of teeth stains?

• Maintaining proper oral hygiene: Following basic dental hygiene practices should be your first priority. Start limiting the amount of soda, red wine, coffee, and tea you drink since they stain your teeth. You can also use a straw so that the liquid does not contact your teeth. STOP the consumption of tobacco of any kind as they are the biggest culprits of teeth stains.

• On-office whitening: A dentist will perform a professional in-office whitening, using professional whitening materials and techniques. This is the safest way to get rid of stains and also brighten your teeth safely.

Everybody wants to have a bright and healthy smile. To save your smile, be sure to be wise about it. Do not use any OTC whitening products to whiten your teeth. See your Dentist today and get a healthy treatment done.

Dr. Kshama Chandan

Celebrity Dentist and Founder of House Of Tooth, Mumbai

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