Tooth Stains – Everything You Need To Know About Them

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished your teeth were a little bit whiter? If so, you’re not alone. Tooth stains are a common concern for many people, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, from the food and drinks we consume to our oral hygiene habits. This dental issue can significantly affect the appearance of your smile and your overall self-confidence. Fortunately, professional dental clinics like Smile Center of Orlando offer a couple of treatment options that can help clean out stains and brighten the teeth.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at tooth stains and everything you need to know about them. We’ll explore the different types of tooth stains, their causes, and the most effective ways to prevent them from occurring. Let’s get right to it

What Are Tooth Stains?

Tooth stains are discolorations that appear on the surface or interior of the teeth. It can cause the teeth to appear yellow, brown, or gray. This dental issue is often caused by the accumulation of food fragments and the residue from the drinks we consume, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco products. It can also be caused by poor dental hygiene, aging, genetics, and certain medications.

Types Of Tooth Stains

There are several different types of tooth stains, each caused by different factors. Here are some of the most common ones;

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains are teeth discoloration caused by external factors such as the foods and beverages we consume, as well as tobacco use. They often appear yellow in some areas of the enamel but they soon spread over the entire teeth.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are caused by internal factors like the side effects of certain medications. The stains radiate from the inside out and it makes the teeth appear grayish. These stains can be more difficult to remove, but with the help of a dental professional, they can often be lightened or removed.

Age-related Stains

This type of tooth stain is caused by a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic factors. As we age the accumulated effects of extrinsic and intrinsic factors become visible on the enamel. This often makes the teeth appear yellowish or grayish.

Causes Of Tooth Stains

Food and Beverage

Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, soda, tomato-based sauce, curry, dark-colored fruits, and some certain vegetables, can stain the teeth over time. These substances contain chromogens, which are pigments that adhere to the enamel on the teeth, causing discoloration.

Tobacco Use

Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause significant stains on the teeth. The nicotine and tar in tobacco products cause deep, persistent stains that can be difficult to remove.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can cause them to appear yellow or brown.


The enamel on our teeth becomes thinner as we age hence, revealing the yellowish dentin layer underneath. Additionally, years of exposure to staining foods and drinks can also cause teeth to appear more yellow or gray.


Certain medications, such as tetracycline and doxycycline, can cause intrinsic stains on the teeth. Other medications, such as antihistamines and blood pressure medications can cause dry mouth, which can lead to tooth discoloration. Also, consistent use of mouthwash containing cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine can cause tooth stain


Injuries to the teeth can also cause discoloration, as the body may lay down additional dentin in response to trauma.

How To Remove Tooth Stains

In-office Cleaning

Regular cleanings at the dentist can help to remove surface stains on the teeth. During your routine checkup, the dentist will use special tools to remove built-up plaque and tartar, which can cause discoloration.

Good Oral Hygiene

Good dental practices can go a long way in preventing and removing tooth stains. To start with, make sure to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from the teeth. Also, endeavor to avoid consuming tobacco as they are one of the main culprits of tooth stains. Also, try to reduce the intake of teeth-staining food and beverages and when you eventually consume them, make sure you brush afterward.

Teeth Whitening Procedure

Professional teeth whitening is a popular and effective way to remove tooth stains. It involves using hydrogen peroxide-based gel that contains bleaching agents to break down the stains on the teeth. This can be done in a dental office or with at-home kits and it’s effective for removing both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth stains.

By using one or more of these methods, you can effectively remove tooth stains and achieve a brighter, healthier-looking smile.

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