Home / BLOG

How Do Teeth Become Stained?

May 31, 2023

How Do Teeth Become Stained?

Teeth stains are a common dental problem that affects people of all ages. Besides occurring from an underlying health concern, stained teeth can also be an aesthetic issue that can affect your confidence and self-esteem. In this blog post, we will discuss how teeth become stained, what causes it, and how to prevent it.

Extrinsic and intrinsic are the two most common types of teeth stains.

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains are caused by external factors and affect the enamel, the outer layer of your teeth.

The most common causes are:

  • Food and Beverages : Certain foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-coloured fruits and vegetables can cause staining. These foods contain chromogens, which are pigment molecules that stick to your teeth.

  • Tobacco Use : Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause the yellowing of teeth. Nicotine and tar present in tobacco can stain teeth.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene : Poor oral hygiene can lead to the accumulation of plaque on your teeth, which can cause staining.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic stains occur within the tooth and can be caused by internal factors.

The most common causes are:

  • Ageing : With age, the enamel on your teeth becomes thinner, revealing the yellowish dentin underneath.

  • Medications : Certain medications such as tetracycline and doxycycline can cause intrinsic stains. These stains are usually grey or brown.

  • Trauma : Trauma to your teeth can cause the dentin to darken, leading to intrinsic staining.


Prevention of Teeth Stains

There are several ways to prevent teeth stains:

  • Practise Good Oral Hygiene : Brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash can help remove surface stains and prevent the accumulation of plaque.

  • Limit Stain-Causing Foods and Drinks : Limit your consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, and other dark-coloured foods and drinks.

  • Quit Smoking or Chewing Tobacco : Tobacco use can cause the yellowing of teeth. Quitting tobacco can prevent staining and improve your overall health.

  • Regular Dental Cleanings : Regular dental cleanings can help remove surface stains and prevent the accumulation of plaque.

To sum it up, teeth staining can be caused by various factors such as food and beverages, tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, ageing, medications, and trauma. Practising good oral hygiene, limiting your consumption of stain-causing foods and drinks, quitting tobacco, and regular dental cleanings can help prevent tooth stains. Consult your dentist if you have intrinsic stains, as they may recommend professional teeth whitening or other treatments.