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If you aren’t happy with your smile, what would you do? What would you do if you specifically were unhappy with the color of your teeth? Would you go straight for the bleach-based teeth whitener? But, if that’s what you decide to do, be careful. Teeth whitener might not be what you need.

There are two main types of stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on your enamel, the transparent outer layer of your teeth. Fortunately, these stains can usually be removed by a simple whitening procedure. This type of stain is usually caused by:

  • Foods: Highly pigmented foods like berries or candy can stain your teeth.
  • Drinks: Coffees, colas, and teas may darken your teeth.
  • Tobacco: Smoking or chewing can also stain your smile. This can happen regardless of whether you use cigarettes, a pipe, or chew the tobacco.

The other type of stain is intrinsic. This typically is a stain affecting the inner layer (or layers) of your teeth, which are visible because your enamel is clear. This type of staining can be the result of:

  • Fluorosis: This is a condition caused by an overexposure to fluoride at an early age.
  • Trauma: If you hit your tooth, or experience some kind of trauma, your tooth could die and darken. Similarly, if your tooth is injured, it could bleed and darken your smile.
  • Medications: Many medications can darken your teeth.

Unfortunately, typical bleaching procedures won’t usually remove these stains. However, a dentist could offer solutions such as crowns, veneers, or bonding. Based on your unique circumstances, your dentist could offer other solutions as well.

Do you have more questions about intrinsic or extrinsic stains? Are you interested in learning more about our quality care? If so, please feel free to contact us soon. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.