Extrinsic Teeth Stains vs Intrinsic Teeth Stains

The combination of intrinsic colour and the presence of extrinsic stains on the tooth surface influence the colour and thus the overall appearance of teeth. There are two types of teeth stains that people have, extrinsic and intrinsic stains. One can be removed with a professional teeth whitening bleaching treatment, but the other requires other dental options.  Some people have a combination of both stains in which the extrinsic stains can be removed with teeth bleaching but with some intrinsic stains remaining.

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains are stains that occur on the exterior of your teeth, more specifically above the enamel.  They are usually caused by drinking and eating certain foods and drinks or smoking. Poor hygiene is another cause of extrinsic stains. If you don’t brush or floss your teeth often, stains will build up causing discoloration. These types of stains have accumulated over the years on the teeth. Fortunately for most people, they have white teeth underneath their extrinsic stains. A professional teeth whitening treatment will get extrinsic stains out quickly and people will see 6-10 shades whiter within their 1st teeth whitening treatment.

Foods and Drinks that cause extrinsic stains include:

Coffee, tea, wines, colas, certain fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids or xanthonoids can stain teeth. Smoking and chewing tobacco tend to form a yellow-brown-black stain around the necks of the teeth above the gumline.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic stains are those that cannot be easily removed through mechanical measures such as debridement or a prophylactic stain removal. Intrinsic stains are below the enamel and not just surface stain like extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains can be caused by several things, including:

  1. Using tetracycline antibiotics prior to age 8.

The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before the age of 8). Ingestion during the years of tooth development causes a yellow-green discoloration of dentin, which is visible through the enamel.  Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain your teeth. Antihistamines (like Benadryl®), antipsychotic drugs, and antihypertensive medications can also cause teeth discoloration.

  1. Aging

As we age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away revealing the natural colour of dentin, which is a yellowish colour. As we age, your tooth also lays down more dentin, decreasing the size of your pulp. Throughout life deposition of secondary dentin occurs along the internal walls of the pulp chamber. Secondary dentin is darker and more opaque than primary dentin. This gives the dentin an overall darker appearance.

  1. Genetics

Some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others. Several genetic disorders affect tooth development (odontogenesis), and lead to abnormal tooth appearance and structure. Enamel hypoplasia and enamel hypocalcification are examples of defective enamel that potentially gives a discolored appearance to the tooth. Teeth affected in this way are also usually more susceptible to further staining acquired throughout life.

  1. Fluorosis

Yellowish teeth can be caused by excessive fluoride use, either in the water or from toothpaste and other fluoride products like rinses and supplements. Fluorosis may occur when there is chronic and excessive exposure to fluoride during the years of tooth development.

  1. Trauma

If your tooth has been damaged due to trauma like a fall, discoloration can occur. Following an injury, red discoloration may develop quickly. The blood is then decomposed gradually, and a blue-brown discoloration develops.  Teeth may turn grey following trauma-induced pulp necrosis or death of the pulp.

  1. Root Canal Treatment

If you have done a root canal treatment, the procedure often will result in internal staining of the tooth.  Because pulp tissue has been removed from the root canal treatment, the deadened dentin may darken over time.

Available Options for People with Intrinsic Stains

What should you do if you have intrinsic stains? If you have tried teeth bleaching and your intrinsic stains do not whiten, there are other options available.

VENEERS

Veneers are thin piece of porcelain or composite resin used to re-create the natural look of teeth. They are placed over the front part of the tooth like a sleeve. Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as teeth that have intrinsic stains that cannot be whitened by bleaching. People choose veneers as a cosmetic solution to enhance the brightness of their teeth and to straighten their smile, correcting issues like discoloration, fractures, or chips.

TOOTH BONDING

Tooth bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored tooth. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Resin is applied to a tooth and hardened with a special light. The light ultimately bonds the material to the tooth to improve a person’s smile, including the appearance of discolored teeth

INTERNAL BLEACHING

Internal bleaching is recommended when the color changes originate in the pulp and if the stains cannot be cleaned externally. It is a process which occurs after a tooth has been Endodontically treated. This means that the tooth will have had the nerve of the tooth extirpated or removed through a root canal treatment at the dentist or by a specialist Endodontist. The internal tooth bleaching consists of the insertion of an oxidizing chemical substance into the tooth’s pulp, using a small drilled incision into the pulp chamber from the back of the tooth.

Unsure what type of stains you have on your teeth?  Why not come for a professional teeth whitening treatment at advancedwhite.ca and see a difference in just one hour. Fortunately for most people, they have only extrinsic stains and will get great results with an average of 6-10 shades whiter. If you have a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic stains, then you will still see good results from our laser teeth whitening procedure.  If your teeth have only intrinsic stains, then we can recommend the best option available for you to get you a whiter smile again.

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