What Causes Teeth Staining?

Teeth WhiteningDespite daily brushing and flossing, many patients can’t help but notice a gradual yellowing of their teeth over time. While removing surface enamel stains can certainly help you achieve bright, healthy-looking teeth, other factors can compromise a white and luminous smile regardless of even the most religious oral hygiene habits. More often than not, men and women experience a combination of external staining as well as intrinsic tooth discoloration, which involves staining in the inner core of the tooth. Discoloration in this area, called the dentin, can be very difficult to remove without professional treatment. Genetic and lifestyle factors that may contribute to staining on the inside and outside of the tooth include:

  • Regular exposure to staining agents, such as coffee, soda, red wine, tea, and certain fruits like blackberries and blueberries
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco products, which contain nicotine, tar, and other substances known to darken the teeth
  • The aging process, which causes a natural thinning of the surface enamel
  • Certain medications and antibiotics taken during childhood

The combination of intrinsic discoloration and exterior enamel stains can eventually cause your tooth color to progressively darken. While at-home whitening techniques have their limitations, professional treatment from a dentist can address both types of tooth discoloration and restore a gleaming, youthful smile. At Dental Professionals of Fair Lawn, we offer two highly effective treatment options to significantly lighten the teeth. Our cosmetic dentist uses the in-office ZOOM!® or KöR® teeth whitening systems for patients with mild to moderate tooth discoloration, allowing a customized treatment in which individuals can achieve a stunning smile in one hour or less. Men and women with more severe staining may be better suited for porcelain veneers, which are designed to mask tooth discoloration with thin, stain-resistant porcelain shells. Veneers can also conceal chips, gaps, and misalignments in the tooth structure for an all-encompassing solution to a variety of aesthetic dental flaws.

The best whitening technique for your needs will depend on the severity of your tooth stains as well as your cosmetic goals. If you would like to learn more about how to remove tooth stains, or if you are ready to schedule a consultation with our cosmetic dentist, please contact our practice.