What Causes Stained Teeth?

What Causes Stained Teeth?

Teeth will become stained over time due to diet and lifestyle choices we make every day. Did you know that yellow-stained teeth tend to indicate easy-to-lift surface staining? Surface staining is also caused by completely different factors than those that cause gray teeth or white spots on teeth. 

So, what causes stained teeth, and how can you whiten them? We’ve broken down the different kinds of tooth discoloration, their causes, and how to whiten and brighten teeth at home. 

Intrinsic and extrinsic stains

Our teeth are susceptible to surface-level stains as well as stains that develop internally. Dr. Caroline Girard, DDS, founder and CEO of Beverly Hills Whitening understands how these stains develop over time — and how to get rid of them. 

 “There’s a big difference between surface stains and internal stains,” says Dr. Girard. “During the day, your teeth may naturally stain from things that we eat or drink. If that stain stays there long enough, it penetrates the tooth and becomes an internal stain.”

Yellow stains tend to be closer to the surface, Dr. Girard says. What can cause yellow teeth? The tannins in tea, particularly green or black tea, and the tannins in red wine can contribute to yellow stains. Other culprits include:

  •       Coffee
  •       Tomatoes
  •       Berries
  •       Curries
  •       Smoking

How do you get rid of stains on teeth? Aside from whitening them at night with trays from Beverly Hills Whitening, Dr. Girard advises taking convenient, preventative measures. 

Simple ways to avoid staining

“If it’s going to stain a white T-shirt, it’s going to stain your teeth,” Dr. Girard says. It’s unrealistic to brush your teeth every time you have coffee. If you’re sitting and slowly drinking coffee for an hour-and-a-half every morning, it will penetrate your teeth significantly. There’s a time element. Drink some water after you’ve had coffee or go into the bathroom and rinse your mouth out. It’s the same with red wine. Just rinsing your mouth after drinking can have an impact.”

You can keep surface stains at bay by using an electric toothbrush morning and night, Dr. Girard says, but whitening toothpaste may be too abrasive for those with sensitive teeth. 

How do I remove stains on my teeth?

Whether you want to remove spots on your teeth or whiten stained teeth, whitening your teeth at home has never been more convenient and effective than with Beverly Hills Whitening. Their custom-fitted trays are made in a state-of-the-art lab designed to get the most out of your whitening gel while you sleep. 

“If saliva touches the gel, it will be ineffective. The whole model is based on sealing out saliva. This way, the gel is going to be active for up to 8 hours of whitening,” Dr. Girard says. 

“People with yellow stains are seeing results in 3-4 days,” Dr. Girard says. “To see stable results at the end, you have to do it for an extended period of time. Each time you whiten, the gel is able to penetrate a little deeper inside the tooth, gently breaking apart bonds in stain molecules (chromogens) and making them smaller.”

Stains also develop as we age. Over time, teeth can become gray-stained as the enamel wears thin. These gray-stained teeth may be harder to whiten, Dr. Girard says.  

“For deep staining or gray undertones from smoking, you have to do just 2 weeks of overnight whitening to get them out effectively,” Dr. Girard says.

 

Written by: Ashley Hinson