Causes of Tooth Discoloration
The most common cause of tooth discoloration is exposure to staining agents such as foods, beverages, and tobacco. Some of the most common staining agents are:
- Dark-colored fruits and vegetables
- Chewing tobacco
- Fruit juices
These agents leave stains on the surface of the teeth. While long-term or engrained stains can be difficult to eliminate, this type of staining usually responds well to teeth whitening.
Other types of tooth discoloration involve staining that has developed during the tooth’s developmental stages. This type of discoloration is called intrinsic staining, and affects more than just the surface of the tooth. Some types of teeth whitening can alleviate intrinsic staining, but usually this type of discoloration must be treated in other ways.
Treatment of Tooth Discoloration
Teeth whitening treatment in Irving can be administered in the office or with a professional-strength take-home kit. Our dentists might also opt to use a combination of these methods.
For extrinsic, or surface staining, the dentist usually applies a whitening agent to the surface of the teeth. The whitener is left for a period of time, then removed and reapplied. Most in-office teeth whitening treatments can lighten the teeth five to ten shades in a single treatment lasting about an hour.
Intrinsic staining often requires more complex treatment. A common approach for intrinsic staining is porcelain veneers. Although a more complex procedure than teeth whitening, porcelain veneers are minimally invasive and last for many years if cared for properly. These thin shells of porcelain are permanently affixed to the surface of the teeth, covering the discoloration and restoring your smile to its natural radiance.