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What are the causes of teeth staining?

29 July 2022by Shiv

Everyone yearns for a bright and healthy smile because it makes you look attractive and heightens your confidence. Despite taking the utmost care of your teeth, they may still become stained and put a blotch on your beauty due to several reasons. The extent and color of stains can be wide-ranging and depend on the underlying etiology, which may be intrinsic or extrinsic. Even your favorite food item or beverages like coffee may be the culprit of your stained teeth.

So, if you are struggling with bizarre stains on your teeth, this article will help you gain insights into the reasons as well the treatment options available for teeth staining.


What is tooth staining?

When your teeth lose the inherent white color, or they don’t appear as bright and perfect as they should, it is known as teeth staining or discoloration. The teeth may turn yellow uniformly or brownish depending on the cause, or they may be some aberrant dark patches on different teeth. Irrespective of the reason, stained teeth are a real beauty spoiler, but with advanced cosmetic dentistry, you no longer have to worry. 

You can also visit Conway House Dental Practice, Dentists in High Wycombe, for in-person suggestions and treatment from well-experienced dentists.


What are the causes of teeth staining?

There is a bounty of reasons that lead to teeth staining. Depending on the origin of staining, the reasons may be broadly classified as Intrinsic, Extrinsic, or Age-related.

Some of the common causes include:


  • Foods and drinks: As luscious as they may be, your favorite beverages like tea and coffee are proven to cause teeth staining if consumed regularly. They contain a pigment known as tannin, which is responsible for repulsive stains. Red wine, dark sodas, Cola, tomato-based sauces,  and some raw fruits like blueberry and cranberry are also on the long list of culprits of tooth staining.
  • Smoking: The intake of tobacco, be it smoking or chewing, is one of the primary reasons for teeth staining. The two dreadful chemicals, nicotine, and tobacco are known to disrupt the enamel of your teeth and react with oxygen to get deposited as brown-colored stains. Along with that, the teeth also become yellow due to the buildup of tar. In this way, your overall dental health becomes poor.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Your teeth are exposed to plenty of food items containing countless chemicals every day. It is your responsibility to maintain them and keep them healthy. If left unattended, they will undergo wear and tear sooner than you expect. Poor oral hygiene is, therefore, another reason why your teeth become discolored. There is a buildup of plaque and tartar, which is a dirty yellowish deposition, full of bacteria, multiplying and damaging your teeth.
  • Medications: Drugs are prescribed only for your benefit, but some may backfire and create new troubles, in the form of teeth staining. Children below the age of 8, when their teeth are still developing, are more prone to developing staining from medications such as antibiotics- tetracycline and doxycycline. Apart from this, mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are also known to cause teeth discoloration. Several other drugs also have tooth staining potential, and you should take note to discuss these effects when your doctor prescribes you any such drug.
  • Genetics: Sometimes, the staining is not developing from the outside, but it is intrinsic. It occurs due to genetic abnormalities and begins at the time of development itself. The natural color is also variable, just like the skin tone, and there is no staining, but the inherent color of your teeth may be darker than others.
  • Aging: With advancing age, all parts of your body undergo wear and tear. So, does the teeth. The enamel becomes weak and gets scuffed over time, leading to the exposure of sensitive underlying structure, i.e., dentin, which is darker in color.
  • Environment: Fluoride is known to be beneficial in dental health, but an excess of anything always has a negative impact. Too much fluoride, either from the environment (in water) or due to excess use of fluoride-containing toothpaste, can lead to enamel damage and, subsequently, teeth discoloration.
  • Dental restorations: It may sound quite erratic, but in some cases, the filling materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam, or substances containing silver-sulfide, can make your teeth darker.
  • Dental Trauma: Accidental damage to the teeth can also lead to enamel disruption. Any cause that disrupts the enamel will subsequently cause tooth damage and discoloration.


How can stained teeth be whitened?

There are plenty of home as well as office-based remedies that will help you with safe teeth whitening.

  1. Brushing and flossing: These are simple yet very effective in cleaning the buildup of plaque from your teeth. Plaque is a yellowish layer of debris and can be removed in the early stages by merely brushing and flossing regularly. At later stages, when it becomes thick and more adherent, a professional dental cleaning will be required.
  2. Over-the-counter whitening agents: These are easy-to-use whitening products and are available in the form of gels or strips. These contain peroxide, which is a bleaching agent, and it will help with instantaneous but short-lived teeth whitening.
  3. Home-based whitening: You can opt for a home-based whitening treatment, where your dentist will provide you with custom-made trays that are coated with a whitening agent. You have to wear these trays for the specified time, and your teeth will be whitened gradually.
  4. In-office treatment: Office-based treatment is one of the best teeth whitening methods.  Hydrogen peroxide is the agent used, which breaks down the free radicals. These smaller fragments attach to the pigments of stain and reflect more light, giving a whitening effect.
  5. Veneers: If your teeth have intrinsic staining, any whitening material will not work. In this case, you have to conceal the stain by using a shield. Veneers are small teeth-shaped porcelain covers that will attach to your teeth and look just like your natural teeth. It will hide the stains behind it.
  6. Bonding: It is an advanced procedure in cosmetic dentistry that involves the use of resin, which is bonded over the tooth surface with the help of a bonding agent and augmented with the help of lasers.


The best way to prevent staining is to be aware of the things that will cause staining and stay away from them. In this way, you can wear your naturally white smile. However, if you have already developed stains, you do not have to worry. Conway House has experienced teeth whitening dentists that will help you with these dental issues. We provide zoom teeth whitening as well to give quick but long-lasting results. We can also guide you regarding smoking cessation and the importance of good oral health. For more details, call us on 01494526578 and book your appointment today!

We are a friendly team of dentists, hygienists and receptionists who work together to ensure that you receive the best treatment you require.

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