Tooth Discoloration: Causes, Types, and Treatment

Tooth Discoloration: Causes, Types, and Treatment
Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman


Tooth discoloration or tooth staining is one of the most common dental problems among children as well as adults. A tooth is said to be discolored when it has abnormal color, hue, or translucency. However, there are ways you can prevent tooth discoloration.

Read this blog to learn more about tooth discoloration, different types of tooth stains, and their treatment options.

What Is Tooth Discoloration?

Tooth discoloration happens when your tooth gets dark and stained due to certain foods and drinks, poor dental hygiene, injury, or because of certain changes inside the tooth. 

What Are the Different Types of Tooth Stains?

There are three types of tooth stains. 

Extrinsic Tooth Stains

Extrinsic tooth stains occur above the surface of the tooth. It happens when pigmented residues from the food and drink you consume, build up a protein layer that covers the tooth enamel. Using tobacco is one of the main reasons for developing extrinsic tooth stains. Apart from that, having beverages like coffee, tea, and cola can also cause this type of tooth discoloration.

Intrinsic Tooth Stains

Intrinsic tooth stains occur below the surface of the tooth. This happens when stain-causing particles go deeper and accumulate at the tooth enamel. Excessive fluoride use is generally the leading cause of such tooth discoloration. Compared to extrinsic tooth discoloration, intrinsic tooth discoloration is difficult to remove. 

Age-Related Tooth Stains

The enamel layer of our teeth wears off as we age. This exposes the core tissue of the teeth called dentin. Dentin also becomes yellow as we get older. Both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth discoloration can contribute to this process.

What Are the Causes of Tooth Discoloration?

Tooth discoloration can happen due to various reasons such as bad food choices, poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, certain diseases, and medicines. Other factors that can cause tooth discoloration are aging, genetics, teeth injuries, and overuse of fluoride in dental products. 

What Are the Treatment Options for Tooth Discoloration?

Treatment options for tooth discoloration vary depending on its cause. Some of the effective treatment options are listed below.

  1. Use proper techniques to floss and brush your teeth.

  2. Avoid foods and drinks that cause tooth stains.

  3. Use over-the-counter whitening agents.

  4. Go for a dental bonding procedure in which special light is used to harden a tooth-colored material that is applied to a tooth. Dental bonding improves the tooth color and makes your smile attractive.

  5. Dental veneers are custom-made 'shells' designed to cover the front surface of the tooth. 

  6. Visit a dentist who provides professional teeth whitening products and procedures.

If you have a discolored tooth, contact our dentist in Des Moines who can diagnose the type of tooth discoloration you have and provide an effective solution.


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Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman

Smiles on Hickman is a family dental practice located in Des Moines, IA. We are committed to providing the best, personalized dental care solutions to patients and their families. Our well-trained and experienced team of dentist in Des Moines,IA ensures that our patients feel comfortable during their visit with us. We use advanced dental techniques that enable us to provide quality care in the fields of cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, sedation dentistry, oral surgery, and more. We strive to form long-lasting bonds with all our patients and offer them a lifetime of healthy smiles.