Patients throughout Southampton know that in Smilemakers they have a dentist in Southampton that they can rely on to help them achieve and maintain healthy beautiful smiles. One of our most commonly requested cosmetic treatments is teeth whitening which offers an effective method of bleaching stains and treating tooth discolouration.
Not all stains are created equal, however, so we thought we’d use this blog to discuss the different types of dental stains, their causes, and how they can be treated.
Extrinsic tooth discolouration – This is the type of stain that most people are familiar with and which appears on the surface layer of a tooth. It’s typically caused by food, drinks, and other substances which come into contact with the teeth. These include:
- Drinks such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and red wine
- Foods such as curries, tomatoes, berries, and carrots
- Cigarette and cigar smoke
- Chewing tobacco
The best treatment for most extrinsic stains is teeth whitening which uses a bleaching agent to lighten the discoloured parts of the teeth. If the stain is particularly dark or proving difficult to remove then a better option may be porcelain veneers or tooth bonding. Sometimes for major stains a combination of both may be the answer, but this will be discussed with you during a consultation.
Intrinsic tooth discolouration – This type of discolouration refers to stains which originate from within the tooth itself. This means rather than a substance coming into contact with the tooth enamel, internal tissues are causing the problem. Some of the causes of intrinsic tooth discolouration include:
- Congenital tooth discolouration
- Tooth injury
- Tooth infection
- Over exposure to fluoride
- Use of tetracycline as a child
The treatments for this type of discolouration tend to involve procedures which conceal or hide the stain from view such as dental crowns, dental bonding, and porcelain veneers. The best option for you will be discussed during your consultation.
Age-related dental stains
As people age their teeth become discoloured due to gradual wear and tear as well as variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Ideal treatments for age-related stains often consist of a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic treatment, and again the best options suited to you will be discussed with your Southampton dentist during a consultation.
To find out more about tooth discolouration and how it can be effectively treated why not get in touch with Smilemakers. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of discoloured teeth, then make an appointment with Dr. Thomas Darling by calling 02380 442626 or booking online at www.smilemakers.co.uk.