Tooth discolouration is many times harmless and even natural, but can sometimes be a sign of other issues. Other times, you might simply want a whiter smile. If you’re interested in brightening your smile, there are several methods that a cosmetic dentist might recommend in order to deal with stained teeth. Before we look at the solutions, it’s often helpful to understand what causes tooth discolouration.

Causes of Tooth Discolouration

The two categories of tooth discolouration are intrinsic and extrinsic. Unlike extrinsic stains that are caused by the types of food and beverages we consume, intrinsic stains are a result of a body’s conditions that affect tooth colour or formation.

We may accumulate extrinsic stains over time due to the frequent consumption of stain-causing substances like red wine, tea, coffee and soda drinks. The tobacco found in cigarettes and cigars are also the main agents of yellowish stains. Some medications and mouthwashes also contain stain-causing substances that result in extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are caused by certain predispositions to tooth discolouration. For example, several diseases and infections can lead to this type of stain. Sometimes the infection in a pregnant mother may be transferred to the child in the form of tooth discolouration, and certain treatments like chemotherapy can also affect one’s tooth colour.

causes of tooth discolouration

Treatments for Discoloured Teeth

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening can be a simple way to achieve a brighter smile. There are many types of teeth whitening products out there that claim to do the job, but you should always be cautious when seeking whitening treatment that is not administered by a certified dental professional. 

For example, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) products that offer a variety of bleaching concentrations, methods and materials. Simply put, not all of them will work. Even if they work for others, they might not work on your teeth, and bleaching agents (when applied incorrectly) can sometimes have side effects like burns, stomach irritation or further discolouration.

Of all the whitening systems available, teeth whitening treatment from a qualified professional is often the safest and most effective. That’s because a professional is able to advise what type of procedure or treatment will be necessary to whiten your individual teeth. For your reference, our dentists provide professional teeth whitening in Brisbane.

In carrying the line of argument above, whitening may not be effective on certain intrinsic stains that are hereditary or caused by certain bodily traits, while it may work perfectly well on extrinsic stains accumulated from regular coffee drinking and smoking. Your dentist can also advise on treatment if you have crowns or veneers, which won’t bleach the same way as your natural teeth and could end up unevenly coloured.

The dentist is also authorised to use a higher concentration of bleaching agent that sometimes works more effectively than OTC products.

Dental Veneers

The other option (although costlier) is dental veneers. They’re thin laminates of porcelain shells that are normally used to cover the front teeth and conceal dental imperfections, including discoloured teeth.

There are certain types of stains – the type with greyish hues, in particular – that cannot be removed by teeth whitening. For such cases, the dentist may recommend the veneers as a way of covering the stains.

Cosmetic Treatment and Management

Many people want whiter teeth. The question is, what type of treatment is more applicable to your specific circumstances? Call (07) 3221 0677 to book a consultation with our professional cosmetic dentists at Face Value Dental.