Stained teeth are something that plagues thousands of people up and down the country. Our modern lives filled with red wine, coffee and brightly hued juices sure do play havoc with the colour of our smiles, but there are actually other types of staining that play a part too and how we address these discolourations can actually really vary. With that in mind here’s a guide on the three most common types of tooth staining and how to correct them.
The types of tooth staining
The reasons your teeth stain and discolour will vary depending on where you are during your lifetime, both in age and physical health.
When we talk about extrinsic stains we’re talking about the stains that discolour enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth. Enamel is there to protect the softer part of the tooth which is under the top layer. Let’s look at how stains develop here.
Firstly even though it’s the hardest part of the tooth it’s still the first thing that everything that comes into your mouth comes into contact with, whether it be food, drink or nicotine. Over the course of our lives this contact then leads some of the colour to be absorbed into the enamel which leads to staining.
The positive of extrinsic stains is that they don’t as a general rule move below the enamel layer so these tend to be the easiest stains to remove with whitening at home.
These types of stains occur when dentine – which is the layer underneath the enamel, which is very sensitive, becomes stained. Let’s look a little more at these types of stains.
Dentine is already darker and more yellow than the tooth’s enamel and so when dentine is exposed due to the enamel layer thinning (which is naturally does over time) teeth are going to become a more yellow colour, for this reason intrinsic stains are tricker to remove than extrinsic.
In order to take care of these stains at home you’ll need something which has an active whitening ingredient such as hydrogen peroxide so having a professional treatment might work better for you.
As we get older our bodies of course change and develop and these changes include changes to our teeth. Two main changes for our teeth is that our enamel naturally thins and dentine gets darker. These two things happening together is why we naturally get darker teeth as we age and no matter how good your oral hygiene is, it’s likely you’ll be affected in some way. All is not lost though and there are some professional whitening methods that can help the signs of ageing on the teeth.
There are two leading ways to combat staining either at-home kits or professional whitening, both have the ability to leave patients with excellent results. Then of course there’s professional whitening through a dentist in Tunbridge Wells, by going through the dentist you’ll have access to stronger products offering longer lasting results.