Discolored teeth are so common that there are entire aisles of grocery stores dedicated to whitening your teeth. Yellowed, dull teeth can make us feel insecure. Brighter, white teeth can make you feel confident about your smile, but how do you know what is causing your discoloration? Did you know that discoloration can be caused by both external and internal factors? There are two types of teeth stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Both types of staining are treated differently, so it is important for you and your dentist to identify what is discoloring your teeth.
Extrinsic stains happen on the external surface of your tooth, the enamel. Lifestyle factors usually cause intrinsic staining. These factors include choices like drinking coffee, tea, or dark soda, smoking cigarettes, or drinking alcohol. External stains can also be the result of years of build-up of plaque and tartar. Sometimes, a good professional dental cleaning can be enough to remove extrinsic staining, and sometimes, a professional whitening treatment is necessary.
Intrinsic stains are caused by a development of discoloration on the inner tissue of the tooth. Your enamel is translucent, which allows for this inner staining to show through. This discoloration may be caused by certain medications that you are taking. Matured age can cause both intrinsic and extrinsic staining of teeth. Intrinsic stains may also be caused by trauma to the tooth, whether injury, damage, or infection. The trauma to the inner tissues may affect the appearance. Professional whitening cannot remove intrinsic staining. Talk to your dentist, if your efforts to whiten your teeth are fruitless, as your discoloration may be coming from within the tooth. There are cosmetic options, like bonding or veneers, that can cover up intrinsic stains.
Intrinsic and extrinsic stains can be treated with cosmetic dentistry. To schedule a consultation with Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.