The Causes Behind Tooth Discoloration

Teeth WhiteningStudies have shown that people respond more positively to people with bright white teeth. They are perceived as younger and more attractive than people with discolored or stained teeth. We offer professional teeth whitening in our Refresh Whitening Spa at EMA Dental, but what the procedure entails can be influenced by the degree of tooth discoloration.

Figuring out the causes behind a patient’s discolored teeth is important. Those causes can be internal or external.

External triggers

Tooth discoloration due to external causes is a result of the stains being in the outermost surface of the teeth. Causes of this type of staining are:

  • Coffee, tea, red wine, dark colas, fruit juices
  • Chewing and/or smoking tobacco
  • Chlorhexidine mouthwash (it’s true — mouthwash can stain your teeth)
  • Certain medications or supplements such as tetracycline, liquid iron, doxycycline, and others

Internal causes

When staining is caused by internal forces, this is often referred to as intrinsic discoloration. In these cases, the dentin (the middle layer of the tooth) becomes a dark hue. Reasons for intrinsic discoloration are:

  • Age
  • Tetracycline (staining from this antibiotic is common among people who were given the drug at an early age)
  • Fluorosis, or exposure to an elevated level of fluoride at an early age.

As us about tooth whitening treatments in our Refresh Whitening Spa. Call either our Longmeadow or Northhampton offices.

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