But what exactly causes discoloration, and what are the different types of teeth stains?
Types of Teeth Stains and Their Causes
There are two main types of teeth stains, which are extrinsic and intrinsic teeth stains. These affect a person’s tooth differently, and the causes and treatment for these types of discoloration are different.
Extrinsic teeth stains
Extrinsic means that the outside of the tooth or the enamel is affected by discoloration. This means that the inside of the tooth, or the dentin, is not directly affected by the discoloration. This can be seen as a yellow discoloration of a person’s teeth.
This is typically caused by consuming foods or substances that cause discoloration in the enamel.
These can include things such as:
- Drinking a lot of coffee or tea
- Drinking wine or cola
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Eating food high in food coloring like hard candies or popsicles?
- Having poor dental hygiene
- Tartar build-up can also cause grayish discoloration of the teeth
- Dental materials like amalgam can discolor the tooth as well as adjacent teeth
This also means that avoiding the things above can help lower the chances that you’ll have discolored teeth. Additionally, because they only affect the outside of the tooth, extrinsic teeth stains can still be fixed.