What causes stains on teeth?
Stains on your teeth can be caused by a number of reasons ranging from food to lifestyle choices or oral hygiene and can take place on the surface of your teeth or even below the enamel.
There are three different categories that tooth discolouration can be broken up into:
- Extrinsic tooth stains: this is the least severe as only the surface of the tooth is stained or discoloured.
- Intrinsic tooth stains: these are stains that occur below the surface of the tooth.
- Age-related tooth stains: these are usually the result of a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic discolouration
Within each particular category, there are a number of particular causes for the staining of the teeth ranging through a number of factors.
- Extrinsic stains normally come from food and drink. Wine, coffee, tea, cola and other darker coloured drinks and foods. Excessive smoking also results in stains from the tobacco. Stains can also result from a build-up in the film of protein that covers the tooth enamel. This type of stain will usually respond to the regular cleaning and brushing of teeth using a whitening toothpaste.
- Intrinsic stains occur when the particles responsible for causing stains, work their way through the exterior of the tooth and accumulate within the tooth enamel. Another cause of this type of stain can be excessive fluoride use which often affects children. These are a little harder to be rid of and usually require bleaching with professional products. Trauma on a permanent tooth may also lead to discolouration
- Age-related stains combine extrinsic factors such as particular foods, drinks and tobacco with the intrinsic fact that over time, the core tissue within your teeth known as dentin begins to yellow and discolour. With age, the exterior enamel coating wears thinner which makes the yellowed core more visible and in combination with the extrinsic factors, makes for the aesthetic that aged teeth get.
Other causes of stained teeth
It is not only food, drink and tobacco that stains teeth. Poor dental hygiene involving inadequate brushing and flossing can result in discoloured teeth. There are also cases where illness or trauma can affect the way that children’s enamel develops and some medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and even certain medications can cause the discolouration of teeth.
Treating teeth stains at home
There are many teeth whitening products available for purchase over-the-counter. They often involve using a bleaching gel and mouth guard. These at home treatments usually take a little while before any improvements can be seen as they are not as strong or effective as professional cleaning treatments. Other whitening products involve strips that are placed over your teeth and will eventually lighten them over time. Whitening toothpaste can remove minor stains but does not change the colour of your teeth.
Why go to a professional for teeth whitening?
The various at home treatments may work for some but there is never a guarantee that it will work for everyone or of what the product actually contains. These broad-spectrum treatments do not take into account the fact that not all cosmetic stains can be treated with bleaching which is why professional whitening is so important.
Professional teeth whitening in Brisbane
At Bonfire Dental we offer both take home and in-office teeth whitening treatments to help you improve the colour of your teeth. We have the expertise required to take care of your teeth and whatever your whitening needs may be. After an assessment, we will be able to determine which treatment plan is best for you and after showing you the health of your teeth, we will be able determine whether or not bleaching is the best option for you. The in-office whitening treatment will take only around one hour because we are able to use a stronger bleaching agent in the practice. This is ideal because it means that results will be noticeable right away.
Take home teeth whitening from Bonfire Dental
The take-home whitening option offered by Bonfire Dental is far more intricate than any store-bought kit. We take impressions of your teeth to create a custom tray for the bleaching agent, meaning that it will be custom-fit to your mouth and meet your bleaching needs more accurately. This method can take up to two weeks if you wear the trays for 30-60 minutes each day. Both options are effective at whitening your teeth, the one you choose will just be based on your personal preference.