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How to Get Rid of Stained & Discoloured Teeth

Have you ever noticed that your teeth have a yellowish, brown or even grey hue? If yes, you are not alone.

As a result of years of eating certain foods, drinking coffee and tea, or using tobacco products, many people suffer from stained teeth. It is a common problem that can be caused by different factors.

Discolouration of teeth occurs when the colour of your teeth changes. They lack the brightness and whiteness that they should. Your teeth may darken, change the colour from white to another shade, or acquire white or dark patches in some areas.

Read on as we’ll discuss the common causes and the treatment options to achieve whiter teeth. We understand that having your teeth stained can be embarrassing or, worse, may affect your oral health. At Byford Smiles, we aim to help our patients to live a quality life with healthy teeth and mouths.

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What Causes Stained & Discoloured Teeth?

Several reasons can result in changes in the natural shade of the white of the teeth. There are types of stains which are categorized into three:

Intrinsic factors

Intrinsic stain refers to the stains found within the tooth, and it is more resistant to over-the-counter whitening solutions. It usually appears greyish. Intrinsic stains include the following:

  • Certain medications.
  • Trauma or tooth injury.
  • Dental problems such as tooth decay and cavities.
  • Teeth are exposed to too much fluoride.
  • Genetic factors.

Extrinsic factors

The extrinsic stains are most likely only harming the tooth enamel or the tooth surface. The following are the most typical causes of extrinsic stains:

  • Dark-pigmented foods.
  • Dark-coloured beverages.
  • Cigarettes or tobacco products.

Age-related factors

When you become older, the enamel surface on your teeth starts to wear away, giving them a yellowish appearance. Both external and intrinsic factors commonly cause age-related discolouration.

Other factors

  • Food and beverages. Certain foods and drinks can penetrate the outer layers of your tooth structure and discolour it. Red sauces, tea, coffee, dark chocolate, red wine are among the most common foods and drinks that may cause tooth discolouration.
  • Lifestyle habits. Cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco products are not only harmful to your physical health, but they can also have a negative impact on your dental health. The nicotine present in these products may promote damage to the teeth, gum tissue and other essential parts of your mouth. According to clinical studies, smokers have a higher prevalence of tooth discolouration than nonsmokers.
  • Certain medications. Antibiotics, particularly tetracycline and doxycycline, are known to cause teeth discolouration.
  • Old dental restorations. Some dental materials, such as amalgam restorations, particularly those containing silver sulphide, can give teeth a grey-black appearance.
  • Genetics. Some individuals naturally have brighter or thicker enamel than others.
  • Poor oral hygiene routine. Not practising proper dental care may put you at high risk of stained teeth. Brush your teeth at least after meals, or drink plenty of water to remove food particles from your teeth.

Injuries. Damage from a fall can disrupt enamel production in young infants whose teeth are still forming. Adult teeth can sometimes become discoloured as a result of trauma. In some instances, only the injured tooth will darken.

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Foods that Can Stain Your Teeth

Many foods can lead to staining. However, it may not be practical to avoid consuming particular foods and drinks. You can still enjoy them in moderation and maintain good oral hygiene habits.

  • Coffee. Coffee has become a staple in the diets of the majority of people.But, coffee has a tannin content that may cause its dark colour to remain on the tooth enamel.
  • Berries. Dark-coloured fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranates, are beneficial to your health. They can, however, seep into the porous surface of the tooth and discolour them.
  • Tea. Green and black teas contain tannins that appear to stain teeth over time, and herbal teas such as chamomile and hibiscus can also discolour teeth if consumed regularly.
  • Wine. When you drink wine, your teeth may turn into a somewhat purple colour. It may take longer for the colour to develop, dark or greyish. However, due to the acidic and tannin content of red wines and the existence of natural colours, it will happen eventually.
  • Dark sauces. Curry, tomato-based pasta or soup, and soy sauce are all delicious. However, the dark-coloured sauce might discolour your teeth. You can substitute a lighter sauce, like carbonara, or white spaghetti.
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The Common Treatment for Stained Teeth

It is essential to understand that dental restorations such as bonding, veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, or implants cannot be whitened. Because they’re made of artificial materials, typically porcelain, only natural teeth enamel can be whitened, and only if the underlying cause is reversible. Your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments depending on the cause of the discolouration.

Tooth discolouration may not be reduced alone through good oral hygiene. There are, however, a wide range of tooth bleaching treatments and procedures now that can make your teeth as white as you’ve always wanted.

In Chair Teeth Whitening

Professional whitening is performed inside a dental office. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide your dentist typically uses for teeth whitening is typically higher than the concentration in at-home products. They also use a special light (LED) to help the whitening agent activate. Your dentist will cover your gums with a protective gel to avoid gum irritation before applying the bleaching agent to your teeth. In-office treatments usually work faster and may last longer with proper care than other treatments.


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Take Home Teeth Whitening Kit Byford by byford smiles

Take Home Teeth Whitening Kits

If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, your dentist may be able to provide you with an at-home kit. Some dentists can make custom trays for you to use on your teeth at home. Fill the tray with gel and wear it for up to an hour per day or as prescribed. You may have to wear the trays for a few weeks to see the effects. After the treatment, you will be asked to return to the clinic so that your dentist can monitor your progress.

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Over-the-counter teeth whitening products

Many whitening toothpastes and whitening strips are now available on the market. They may be effective in removing surface stains, but they are less effective at removing intrinsic stains. We also recommend consulting a dentist before using over-the-counter products for safe measures. 

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FAQs About Stained & Discoloured Teeth

How can I prevent tooth staining?

If you want to consume pigmented food or drinks, professionals recommend brushing and flossing after eating. If that isn't an option, drinking or swishing with water can help eliminate at least some of the particles that can discolour your teeth.

It is essential to practise a proper dental hygiene routine for healthier teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. This habit can prevent food debris and particles from staying on your teeth and spaces between teeth and gums. Ask a dental professional for recommendations on antibacterial mouthwash to eliminate plaque that brushing alone can't be removed.

If you smoke or chew tobacco, speak with your doctor about a smoking cessation program. Try to avoid foods and beverages that can discolour your teeth. If that is difficult, consider taking proper care of your teeth to keep them free of stain-causing materials.

Regular dental visits are essential. Dental health professionals recommend visiting a dental clinic at least twice a year for regular checkups and professional deep cleanings.

How long does teeth whitening last?

Teeth whitening involves bleaching agents. They are usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide; there are different concentrations and ways of application. The effect of whitening treatment will depend on the food, drinks you consume, and oral hygiene habits. Average tooth whitening results can last between six months to three years.

How do you get rid of stains from teeth?

  • Professional teeth whitening. Your dentist will use hydrogen or carbamide peroxide and LED whitening to activate the bleaching agent and aid in whitening the teeth. Dentists are trained and can use a higher concentration of bleaching agents legally.
  • At-home teeth whitening products. Your dentist can make a custom-fit tray for you if you prefer to whiten your teeth at home. The kits may include trays, whitening products, LED light, and protective gel.

Over-the-counter whitening kits. Various whitening kits are now available on the market. These may include whitening strips, toothpaste, whitening pens, and mouthrinse to whiten the teeth within several days or weeks.

How long does it take a dry socket to heal?

A blood clot forms at the area of tooth extraction to repair and protect it. The clot either dislodges, dissolves too quickly, or never forms at all with a dry socket. As a result, a dry socket exposes the bone, tissue, and nerve endings.

Typically, a dry socket lasts seven days. Pain might be felt as early as the third day following extraction.

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