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.
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.
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.
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.