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Teeth Stains: Causes, Types, and How to Remove Teeth Stains

by Aziza · November 25, 2020

Teeth stains or discoloration is a common complaint. Following article contains detailed information about teeth stains, their causes and how to remove them.

  • Teeth Stains and its Types
  • Causes of Teeth Stains
  • Home Remedies
  • Treatment and Prevention

1.

What are Teeth Stains?

As the name suggests, a sort of discoloration or stains change the color and appearance of your teeth. The staining can happen on the outer layer of the teeth i.e. enamel or on the inner layers depending on the condition of the teeth.
There are many causes of teeth stains. Many different factors determine if you experience teeth stains like your dental hygiene and your efforts to minimize the effects of food that can normally cause stains.
yellowing teeth are a sign of teeth stains

There are many causes of teeth stains. Many different factors determine if you experience teeth stains like your dental hygiene and your efforts to minimize the effects of food that can normally cause stains.

Types of Teeth Stains:

Based on the causes of teeth stains, there are three types of teeth stains.

Extrinsic Teeth Stains:

This refers to the stains that happen on the outer layer of teeth i.e. enamel. The food particles with color when accumulate on the enamel, they produce tartar and eventually plaque which can cause discoloration of teeth. The plaque with these stained food particles gives an impression of discoloration, not the actual enamel layer.
There are certain foods that are most likely to cause discoloration like tea, coffee, tobacco, blueberries, coca cola etc. If you take extremely good care of your dental hygiene, these are unlikely to happen as brushing with a good toothpaste and flossing will likely take care of it.
The stains of different colors on teeth represent different reasons why this particular discoloration occurs. These stains can be brown, yellow, green, orange and black.
Brown: This color is normally a sign of oral hygiene and they normally occur due to nicotine from cigarettes and other tobacco products, cola, tea, coffee, red wine, pomegranate, blue/blackberries and the formation of tartar. Tooth decay can also cause brown spots due to acid activity when sugary foods are consumed.
Black: These spots are less common and happen because of presence of iron in the saliva or the use of iron-containing oral solutions. A certain kind of reaction produces these black spots. Tartar buildup in some cases also produces black stains. Tooth decay can also be a reason.
Yellow: This is can be a result of poor dental hygiene and can be solved by brushing daily. It can also be because of worn enamel and exposed dentin which can color your teeth yellow accumulation of biofilm or plaque when food like tobacco is consumed.
Green and Orange: These stains are because of accumulation of chromogenic bacteria and fungi that accumulate because of poor hygiene.
As you can see, all these colored stains can be avoided by taking care of your oral health every day.

Intrinsic Teeth Stain:

Intrinsic teeth stains are caused when erosion of enamel occurs and the stains steep deeper into layers of teeth. They can be of different colors like yellow, brown, grey or orange. Excessive use of fluoride is normally connected to intrinsic teeth stains. Moreover, demineralization and hypocalcification can also cause intrinsic staining.
These stains cannot be removed by merely cleaning them every day. You will need professional help to get them cleaned through bleaching, scaling or polishing. Some methods including whitening strips or pastes can be used as well in some cases.

Age Related Stains:

With age, our teeth gradually discolor. The enamel gets thinner and exposes inner layers, like dentin, to the outside elements like the food you consume. It, certainly, is also worn down by many years of use and being under the influences of food and beverages that harm you enamel and other layers underneath.

2.

Causes of Teeth Stain

There are quite a few causes of teeth stains. Following is an elaborate explanation of all causes of teeth stains:
Food: Different types of food and drinks, sugary or otherwise, can stain your teeth. A few examples of food that causes discoloration include coffee, tea, cola, red wine, turmeric, blueberries, tobacco and many other. Any food containing artificial colors can also cause the same effect on your teeth.
brushing can help clean your teeth of stains

When enamel wears off, the spots can develop on inner layers. Poor oral hygiene can make these spots permanent.
Tobacco: Use of tobacco and its products is a common cause of discoloration in your teeth. Nicotine particles stick in teeth causing discoloration. Tar produced during burning of tobacco is a brown sticky substance that can coat inside of your mouth and your lungs. It is also cancerous and can cause mouth, throat and lung cancer.
Oral Care: If you are not taking care of your oral hygiene by brushing twice and flossing daily, you are giving an opportunity to the discoloration elements to remain on your teeth and cause permanent discoloration. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene for the health of your teeth.
Tartar: Poor oral hygiene also encourages development of tartar. Food particles mixed with saliva form a sticky film on the teeth that is called plaque. This plaque, if not removed, can harden over time and form tartar. This tartar can cause yellowing or discoloration of your teeth.
Tartar buildup can cause tooth decay. The acid produced from tartar can bore a hole in your teeth causing dark colored decay holes. Therefore, tartar not just colors the teeth yellow but also causes black colored decay in teeth.
Trauma or Disease: There are a few diseases that can cause discolored teeth like fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia and celiac disease. Teeth stains appear as symptoms of these conditions and in case of fluorosis, because of excess use of fluoride in tooth paste.
Medical Treatments: There are certain kinds of medical treatments and medications that can cause discoloration of teeth. Medications like tetracycline, glibenclamide and chlorhexidine can cause stains. Moreover, medications used for chemotherapy, high blood pressure and antihistamines can also cause discoloration.
Aging: Aging causes teeth to wear down which means that the outer layers like enamel start wearing off and exposing inner layers. Enamel is basically what shown whiteness in your teeth and when it wears off its shows yellow colored dentin causing yellow teeth.
Dental Filling, Crowns and Bridges: If you have previously done dental work like fillings, crowns, bridges or implants etc., they can lose their whiteness over time.
Having been made of artificial material, they respond to the environment in your mouth than your teeth. They can change in color with time and you might need to replace them. In certain types of dental work, the dentists recommend getting them replaced after a certain age.

3.

Home Remedies

A few home remedies can be used to improve you discolored teeth and prevent discoloration.

Brushing and Flossing:

Firstly, brushing flossing is very important to prevent discoloration. Brushing cleans 65% of your teeth and flossing does 35%. Therefore, it is important to brush and floss everyday to completely clean your teeth. This will remove plaque and tartar buildup and keep them from developing teeth stains.

successful whitening treatment at the dentist

Baking Soda:

A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is considered a remedy for teeth stains. One part baking soda and two part hydrogen peroxide will provide you with a mixture that you can use to clean your teeth. Make sure to rinse your mouth properly afterwards. You can also mix baking soda with water and use it to brush teeth.

Teeth Whitening Toothpastes:

Some teeth whitening options are available in the market that you do not need a prescription for like teeth whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. These might contain compounds like hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxides etc.

Lemon and orange peels:

Rubbing orange and lemon peels on your teeth is considered to clean stains and whiten your teeth. Citric acid is believed to perform whitening action on teeth.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is considered to have whitening effect on teeth. Making a mouthwash with apple cider vinegar and using it regularly can help decrease yellowing teeth. Rinse your mouth afterwards with water.

Activated Charcoal:

Activated charcoal is known for its ability to absorb toxins and pigments. It performs the same function on teeth. Use a toothbrush to clean your teeth with charcoal and carefully rinse your mouth afterwards. You can also make a mouthwash or dab on your teeth to rinse later on.
Some research points out that it can wear off enamel and expose your teeth to more problems with time. Therefore, it is important to consult your dentist and get advice in this matter.

4.

Treatment

In case of teeth stains that cannot be removed by these home remedies, you might need to go and see your dentist. Your dentist, based on your teeth’s condition, will give you options for teeth whitening.
pearly white teeth free from stains can be achieved by maintaining good oral hygiene

In case of teeth stains that cannot be removed by these home remedies, you might need to go and see your dentist. Your dentist, based on your teeth’s condition, will give you options for teeth whitening.
If discoloration is because of tartar buildup, you will be recommended to get your teeth professionally cleaned. In this process, the dentist cleans your teeth by removing tartar buildup. You see the importance of oral hygiene here, right? Brushing and flossing every day!
Your dentist can also use processes like dental bonding, whitening, dental crowns, veneers and other teeth whitening practices that are available. The solution depends on the condition of your teeth. If dark spots are because of teeth decay than crowns and veneers are the best options for you.

Prevention:

Preventing teeth stains is simple and quite easy. Regular habit of brushing and flossing can set you up for great teeth throughout your life. Yes, it’s that simple. What you need to do is care for your oral hygiene everyday by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once.
If you consume food that is pigmented, make sure you clean your teeth right after having food. This habit will keep your teeth healthy, nice and pearly white over the years to come.
If you have a habit of smoking or consuming tobacco products, it is in your best interest that you quit smoking and consumption of other such products. This will not only help your teeth but also your overall health. Same goes for products like cola.

Takeaway:

The most resounding throughout this article has been, yes you know it, maintaining good oral hygiene. You will not need to go to your doctor on account of teeth stains if you follow this advice. Maintain a habit of cleaning your teeth every day. If you are parents, make sure to inculcate this habit in your kids from a young age and they will be set for life.

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