Teeth Stains: Causes, Types and How To Get Rid Of Them

Teeth Stains and their look after treatment

Teeth stains have left many people with unpleasant smiles. And today I want us to know the different kinds of stains, their causes and their treatment options. There are two kinds of dental stains. We have extrinsic stains and intrinsic stains.

Extrinsic stains

These are teeth stains of the outer layer of the tooth called the enamel. It occurs when stain particles, such as pigmented residue from food or drink, build-up in the film of protein that covers the tooth enamel.

Common causes of extrinsic stains include the following:

  • Dark-colored foods or drinks (i.e. cola, coffee, wine, berries)
  • Smoking
  • Wearing down of the tooth enamel as a result of aging
  • Poor dental hygiene, such as inadequate brushing or flossing, can lead to tooth discoloration.

Dealing with extrinsic stains is quite easy. All we have to do is polishing/scaling which is often called professional dental cleaning.

Intrinsic stains

These are teeth stains that occur below the surface of the tooth. It occurs when stain-causing particles work through the exterior of the tooth and accumulate within the tooth enamel.There are two common causes of intrinsic stains;


A major cause of fluorosis is the inappropriate use of fluoride-containing dental products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses. Sometimes, children enjoy the taste of fluoridated toothpaste so much that they swallow it instead of spitting it out.

But there are other causes of fluorosis. For example, taking a higher-than-prescribed amount of a fluoride supplement during early childhood can cause it. So can taking a fluoride supplement when fluoridated drinking water or fluoride-fortified fruit juices and soft drinks already provide the right amount.

Fluoride occurs naturally in water. Natural fluoride levels above the currently recommended range for drinking water may increase the risk for severe fluorosis. Symptoms of fluorosis range from tiny white specks or streaks that may be unnoticeable to dark brown stains and rough, pitted enamel that is difficult to clean. Teeth that are unaffected by fluorosis are smooth and glossy. They should also be a pale creamy white.

Tetracycline stains

These teeth stains affect people who take in tetracycline during their early years (below 8 years). These stains can also affect individuals whose mothers took tetracycline antibiotics during their second and third trimesters.

Since intrinsic stains exist on a deeper layer of the tooth, they are not likely to respond to traditional teeth whitening treatments. Instead, patients who wish to improve tooth color will need to consider more extensive dental treatment.

Following are some of the most common options for those with intrinsic dental stains:

Porcelain veneers

These thin, shells bond to the facial surface of the teeth to conceal intrinsic tooth stains and other cosmetic imperfections.


Lumineers are very similar to porcelain veneers. They cover the teeth to hide stains, discoloration, and other blemishes. The primary difference is that they require less preparation than traditional veneers.

Dental bonding

Dental bonding conceals tooth stains with a tooth-colored dental compound. Although dental bonding will not last forever, it does offer a quick and affordable solution for minor intrinsic stains.

Dental crown

If a tooth has intrinsic discoloration as a result of tooth trauma, it may be necessary to restore the tooth with a dental crown. A dental crown will strengthen the tooth while improving its appearance.

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Discoloration?

Indications of tooth discoloration include white streaks, yellow tints, or brown spots or pits.

How is Tooth Discoloration diagnosed?

Tooth discoloration is easy to spot even without the use of special instrument or test. A visual test will detect a tooth discoloration.

Contact Us

If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your teeth due to dental stains or tooth discoloration, the experienced dentist at Ezza Dental Care can help. Contact us at your earliest convenience.