What Type of Stains Can Teeth Whitening Fix?

Published on April 27, 2022
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Teeth stains and discolouration can make us feel embarrassed and self-conscious about our smiles. Yet the good news for anyone keen to address stained teeth is that professional teeth whitening is a fast, safe and effective way to get rid of teeth stains and discolouration, leaving you with a beautiful white smile.

If you’re considering professional teeth whitening, you may be curious about what types of teeth stains this treatment can help with - after all, what’s really behind that yellowish tinge to your teeth?

In this article, we’re exploring the different kinds of teeth discolouration that can occur and which type of stains teeth whitening can remove.

Types of tooth stains

When it comes to tooth stains, not all types of stains are the same. Teeth stains can either develop on the surface of the teeth - called extrinsic teeth stains - or below the enamel, known as intrinsic teeth stains.

Some types of teeth discolouration, such as age-related teeth stains, can be both extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic teeth discolouration

When stains fall under the category of extrinsic tooth discolouration, they generally only stain the outermost layer of the tooth (the enamel).

Causes of intrinsic teeth stains

The most common causes of extrinsic tooth discolouration are food and beverages and tobacco use.

These are some of the foods and drinks most likely to stain your teeth:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Cola
  • Fruit juices
  • Tomato-based sauces
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Curry
  • Berries

The culprits are chemical compounds called chromogens, which give these foods and drinks their colour and are what cause teeth stains. In addition, some of these items contain tannin, which can also stain teeth.

Treating intrinsic teeth stains

Due to their location within the dentin layer of the tooth, intrinsic teeth stains are harder to shift with teeth whitening treatments. However, there is a range of cosmetic dentistry options that can address this type of discolouration and leave you with a bright, white smile.

These cosmetic dentistry treatments include veneers, crowns and dental bonding.

Age-related teeth discolouration

The final type of teeth discolouration is age-related teeth staining, which occurs naturally as we age.

Causes of age-related teeth staining

Over time, the protective layer of enamel covering your teeth surface starts to wear away, exposing the more yellow dentin layer underneath.

In addition, our teeth become more brittle as we age, meaning stains and yellowing occur more easily. Plus, as teeth get weaker over time, they are more susceptible to trauma and injury, which can result in intrinsic discolouration.

How to treat age-related teeth stains

For age-related discolouration that results in extrinsic stains, professional teeth whitening can be an effective treatment to help restore teeth whiteness and brighten your smile.

Book in for professional teeth whitening

At our National Dental Care practices, we offer a choice of in-clinic teeth whitening and take-home whitening kits, so you can choose the most convenient way to whiten your smile - quickly, safely, and with fantastic results.

To find out more about our professional teeth whitening services, find your nearest National Dental Care practice and get in touch today.

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