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Tooth Stains: Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic

Are you unhappy with the color of your teeth? Have they lost their shine or become yellow over time? When it comes to tooth discoloration, there are a number of contributing factors to consider. Tooth staining culprits can include one or more of the following:

  • Dark foods and drinks (berries, coffee, red wine)
  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Medication side effect
  • Natural aging process
  • Overexposure to fluoride during childhood

Tooth discoloration can generally be broken down into two categories: extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining. Why does it matter? The type of discoloration you have will determine the best and most effective method of treatment. With the help of a talented dentist and the advancements of modern cosmetic dentistry, discolored teeth can be corrected!

Extrinsic Tooth Stains:When the tooth is only stained on the outside or the enamel layer, it is considered an extrinsic discoloration. This type of staining is typically from consuming certain foods or drinks or tobacco use. It often happens gradually over a period of time. Extrinsic staining can be treated more affordably than intrinsic staining.

Intrinsic Tooth Stains:Intrinsic discoloration involves the underlying layer of the tooth, or the dentin. This can develop after a tooth trauma or from taking certain medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics. The natural aging process can also contribute to intrinsic staining. As we get older, our tooth enamel wears thin and reveals more of the inner dentin of the tooth, which happens to be more yellow than white.

Determining Your Course of Treatment

Extrinsic discoloration can be easily treated with professional, in-office teeth whitening in most cases. However, if you have signs of intrinsic staining (marked by the presence of a grey or purplish hue), porcelain veneers or crowns may be best.

At Grand Oaks Dental Care, we offer a variety of solutions for discolored teeth, including custom crafted veneers as well as the most proven professional teeth whitening systems. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be recommended. Regardless of your type of tooth staining, you can rest assured that we have the knowledge, talent and equipment to restore your smile to its most brilliant and confident white. Call us today to learn more about our teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental services here in Ocala, FL.