What are tooth stains?

What are tooth stains?

April 12, 2024
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Teeth discoloration is one of the common problems that many face in our society today, as it affects the beauty of the smile and causes anxiety for many, as it is caused by multiple reasons, such as eating certain foods and drinks, smoking, some medications, and many others and in this article, we will explore together what tooth stains are, the causes that lead to them, and the best ways to treat and prevent them.

What are tooth stains?

Tooth stains are changes in the color of the surface of the teeth that negatively affect their aesthetic appearance due to several reasons and these pigmentations can form in the outer layer of the tooth known as enamel or in the inner layer known as the dentition and these pigmentations can be natural, such as changes that occur with age, or they can be caused by external factors such as consuming certain colored foods and drinks or smoking and dental pigmentation may appear in different colors, such as brown, yellow, gray, or green, and may be present on all teeth or only some of them and teeth stains are not usually harmful to health, but they can affect a person’s self-confidence and personal attractiveness, and can be treated with many cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening or orthodontics.

Reasons for the appearance of pigmentation on the teeth

  • Caries: Tooth decay can cause teeth to change color to brown, black, or chalky.
  • Smoking: Tobacco products contain colored substances such as nicotine and tar that may cause dark tooth stains.
  • Foods and drinks: Some foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, Pepsi, and chocolate, can cause tooth discoloration.
  • Medications and treatments: Some antibiotics and other medications can cause tooth discolouration, especially when taken from an early age.
  • Mouthwash: Some mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine may lead to tooth staining.
  • Fluoride poisoning: Taking a large dose of fluoride may cause teeth to change color to chalky white or brown.

Types of tooth stains

Dental stains are divided into two main types: external and internal, as the first is characterized by a change in the color of the teeth on the outside as a result of direct contact with contaminated materials such as food, drinks, and smoking and while the second, occurs within the tooth itself and is more difficult to deal with and includes factors such as medications, trauma, and tooth decay and the causes of tooth staining depend on the color they appear, as yellow teeth are often the result of smoking and dark drinks, while brown teeth can be the result of tooth decay or improper nutrition, as for white teeth, they may appear due to excessive exposure to fluoride, black teeth are often the result of tooth decay or excessive exposure to metals, while red wine can lead to purple stains on the teeth.

How to treat tooth discoloration

There are several ways to treat pigmentation in, including:

  • Use hydrogen peroxide once or twice a week
  • Use baking soda
  • Eat foods rich in fiber
  • Clean your teeth daily and use dental floss
  • Avoid foods and drinks that contain artificial colourings
  • Keep visiting the dentist
  • If the pigmentation reaches advanced stages, veneers can be used to remove it and restore the shine of the teeth

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