Tooth discoloration can occur as a result of surface stains, due to actual changes in your tooth material, or because of a combination of both factors. Dental professionals have identified three main categories of tooth discoloration: extrinsic discoloration, intrinsic discoloration, and age-related discoloration.
The Three Types of Tooth Discoloration
is staining on the surface of the tooth. This is typically caused by tobacco use or by regularly drinking coffee, tea, wine, or cola drinks.
is staining below the surface of the tooth.
combines the results of both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth discoloration. Because the core tissue of your teeth, the dentin, naturally yellows over time, teeth discolor with age. As we age, the enamel that covers the tooth becomes thinner, allowing the dentin to show through. These intrinsic causes of discoloration combined with extrinsic causes such as the effects of certain foods, beverages, and tobacco, will cause most adults' teeth to discolor with age.
Regardless of the type of tooth discoloration you have, there are many over-the-counter, safe teeth whitening products available to help you makeover your discolored teeth into a beautiful white smile.