Did you know what causes stains on teeth?
Teeth stain for many reasons, including your food and drink choices, oral hygiene, and medication use.
Teeth stains occur on the surface of the tooth or below the tooth enamel and some people develop both types of teeth stains.
Types of Tooth Discoloration (Stains)
Tooth discoloration can occur as a result of surface stains, due to actual changes in your tooth material, or because of a combination of both factors. Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes in the tooth material.
Discoloration can be divided into three main categories:
1. Extrinsic Teeth Stains – An extrinsic tooth stain is staining on the surface of the tooth. It occurs when stain particles, such as pigmented residue from food or drink, build-up in the film of protein that covers the tooth enamel. Extrinsic tooth stains are typically caused by tobacco use or by regularly drinking coffee and tea, wine or cola drinks. This type of tooth stain responds well to regular dental cleaning and brushing the teeth with toothpaste.
2. Intrinsic Teeth Stains – An intrinsic tooth stain is staining below the surface of the tooth. It occurs when stain-causing particles work through the exterior of the tooth and accumulate within the tooth enamel. Excessive fluoride use has been associated with intrinsic staining, especially in children.
3. Age-Related Teeth Stains – Age-related teeth stains combine the results of both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth discoloration. As we age, the enamel that covers the tooth becomes thinner, allowing the dentin to show through. These intrinsic causes of discoloration combined with extrinsic causes such as the effects of certain foods, beverages, and tobacco, will cause most adults' teeth to discolor with age.
Causes of staining of teeth
Teeth stains have many causes. Certain foods and drinks can cause teeth stains. Tooth discoloration is also a product of several biological factors, including the transparency of your tooth enamel.There are many causes of discolored teeth—some of which could have possibly been prevented, and many of which are beyond control.
Food & Drink: Coffee, tea, dark sodas, red wine, and even a few fruits and vegetables are proven causes of discolored teeth.
Tobacco: Both cigarettes and chewing tobacco can contribute to discolored teeth.
Oral Care: Poor dental hygiene, such as inadequate brushing or flossing, can lead to tooth discoloration.
Trauma or Disease: Any trauma, illness, or disease that affects enamel development in children—either in the womb or while teeth are developing (under the age of 8)—can cause discolored teeth. Trauma to adult teeth can also cause discolored teeth. In addition, there are a few diseases and disease treatments that can cause discolored teeth for example Chemotherapy and radiation
Medical Treatments: Sometimes medical treatments can contribute to teeth stain, and several classes of medications including high blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, antihistamines and some anti-psychotic medications can cause teeth stains.
Why Are Seniors Susceptible To Tooth Stains?
First, as you age, the outer layer of the tooth’s enamel gets thinner over time, revealing the natural yellow color of the core tissue of your teeth, called the dentin. This dentin also yellows naturally with age. In addition, years of drinking tea, coffee, dark sodas, and wine can cause progressive tooth stains over time. Finally, damage or injuries to your teeth, which occur over time throughout your life, cause discoloration that can become noticeable with age.
How to Remove Teeth Stains
Fortunately, there are many treatment options for teeth stains. Keep your teeth healthy and looking great by maintaining a consistent oral health routine including twice-daily tooth brushing and regular flossing, twice-yearly visits to your dentist, and by limiting your consumption of teeth-staining beverages. Regular whitening maintenance will help keep them looking whiter and brighter.