The Different Causes of Tooth Discolouration

Tooth Discolouration Treatments, Eringate Dental Clinic

Surface stains or changes in tooth material

Your teeth can become discoloured by stains on the surface or by changes in the tooth material. Discolouration can be divided into three main categories.

Extrinsic Discolouration

This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic Discolouration

This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration if:

    • You had excessive exposure to fluoride during early childhood
    • You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
    • You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may cause damage to the developing permanent tooth.

Age-related Discolouration

This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Foods and smoking also can stain teeth as people get older. Finally, chips or other injuries also can discolour a tooth, especially when the pulp has been damaged.

Some tooth discolouration can be removed with a professional cleaning. An example would be the stains caused by coffee. For many stains are permanent, however. We offer in-office and Take-Home professional Teeth Whitening solutions to give your smile a whiter, brighter and healthier appearance. In some cases, if the discolouration is severe, a crown or veneer may be required to cover it. 

Dr. M. Victoria Razon-Clemente is a graduate of Centro Escolar University in the Philippines where she completed a Bachelor’s in Science (B.Sc.) in 1987 and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree (D.D.M.) in 1991. She started practicing in 1992 before migrating to Canada in 1995. She passed the National Dental Examining Board of Canada exam in 1999 and opened the Eringate Dental Clinic in Etobicoke, ON in 2000 at its current location.