Types Tooth Stains on your Smile

WhiteningThe older you get, the less likely you are to feel entirely happy with the color and brightness of your smile. For patients seeking cosmetic dentistry services, teeth whitening is among the most requested of all procedures, especially since whitening is so non-invasive. Dull, yellowed teeth can give you an aged appearance even if you have an otherwise beautiful smile. There are two types of staining on teeth – intrinsic and extrinsic. Do you know which type has befallen your smile?

Intrinsic Tooth Stains

Intrinsic stains start on the inside of individual teeth. Generally, intrinsic stains are caused by tooth injuries, but they can also result from certain antibiotics and medications. Tetracycline and doxycycline are two in particular which have discolored children’s smiles in the past when prescribed before the age of eight-years-old. There are also certain antipsychotic drugs, high blood pressure medications, and antihistamines that can cause intrinsic stains. Intrinsic tooth stains don’t generally respond to regular tooth bleaching, so other cosmetic procedures, such as porcelain veneers, may be recommended by your dentist.

Extrinsic Tooth Stains

Extrinsic smile stains stay on the surface of your tooth enamel, making them much easier to deal with than intrinsic ones. . Because of this, these stains are fairly easy to remove. Among extrinsic stain causes are tobacco use and food and beverages that are dark in color, (coffee, red wine, and blueberries, for example). Extrinsic stains can cause long term discoloration of teeth if oral hygiene practices are insufficient. Over time, teeth are destined to dull, in the same way that hair grays or skin wrinkles, but brushing twice a day to combat extrinsic stains is a good practice to prolong the time before you need to consider whitening teeth.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including; Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.


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