Teeth Whitening

Tooth Discoloration

Understand the causes and treatments for tooth disoloration including methods on how to prevent future discoloration of the teeth.

The signs of tooth discoloration are pretty clear: yellow, discolored, stained or even dark spots on the teeth. The actual reasons and causes why our teeth become darken and discolored varies, including:


What we eat and drink can contain pigments that darken teeth. For example, coffee, tea, and red wines can stain teeth. Foods that normally change color when exposed to air such as cherries, pomegranates and blueberries can also contribute to tooth discoloration.

Unhealthy Habits

Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth. Poor dental hygiene, which is represented by inadequate flossing and brushing, can also be huge culprits for causing teeth discoloration.

High Concentration Of Fluoride

Drinking water or oral hygiene products such as mouth washes and rinses containing high floride levels can cause staining of the teeth, producing a mottled appearance.

Antibiotics And Medications

If children whose teeth are still developing are given antibotics tetracycline and doxycycline can result in intrinsic tooth discoloration. Pregnant mothers who use tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy can cause teeth discoloration to the child by affecting enamel development. In addition, medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and antihypertensive drugs can also lead to discoloration of the teeth.

Medical Treatments

Certain medical treatments such as head radiation and chemotherapy for cancer treatment tend to affect both the enamel and the dentin layers and as such can be responsible for teeth discoloration.

Dental Work

Certain types of dental work such as amalgam restorations that contain silver can lead to teeth turning a grayish color.

Age Related Discoloration

Through time and age, the teeth accumulates more stains and tartars, causing it to look dull and discolored. In addition, as people grow older, the enamel that protects the teeth gets eroded away, revealing the underlying natural deeper yellow color of dentin.


Genes may play a role as to why some people have naturally brighter enamel than others.


A fall or any injuries that damage the nerves can also lead to dicolorations of the teeth.

What Treatments Options Are Available For Tooth Discoloration

Treatments for tooth discoloration will vary according to the causes and may include:

In-Office Dental Whitening

Affordable Dental Care From DentalPlans.com

For this method of eliminating tooth discoloration, your dentist will start by examining your teeth and informing you about the different ways you can obtain whiter teeth, how the treatments work and what to expect from the recommended treatments.

  • For extrinsic tooth discoloration caused by foods and drinks, these stains can be easily removed by applying a bleaching peroxide gel to the enamel of the teeth to help whiten them. The process will usually take an hour and a laser may or may not be use to help speed up the whitening process.
  • For teeth that are discolored by excessive fluoride, root canal treatment, consumption of tetracycline or other drugs, the standard bleaching of the enamel will not be very effective. Instead dental veneers or bonding are use to restore the teeth back to sparkling white. You will need to discuss the best choice of treatment with your dentist.

At Home Bleaching

Home whitening is usually done with teeth whitening kits, gels or strips. This method is more suitable for extrinsic tooth discoloration and will require some work and time on your part.

Typically, a custom-fit or standard mouth tray and a whitening gel are used. You will then proceed to apply the gel into the mouth trays and wear them each night for the recommended amount of time. You may need to use it several times over the course of 1 to 3 weeks to achieve maximum results.

The main advantages for using home whitening kits are that they are a lot less expensive than in-office dental whitening.

Prevention of Tooth Discoloration

It is always better to prevent teeth from getting discolored than to treat them later on. And it's not difficult as long as you are willing to make some simple lifestyle changes.

For example, you can start by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly after every meal and rinse the mouth with water after the consumption of drinks such as coffee, wine or cola.

Using an ultrasonic toothbrush may also help significantly because it does a much better job at removing any excess food that sits on tooth surfaces, staining them.

Going to the dentist every half a year for a clean up is also a very good way to prevent the teeth from getting discolored.

Another very healthy way to prevent natural tooth discoloration is to consider cutting back or quitting on smoking and drinking coffee or wines.

Mouth rinses which have a high fluoride concentration should be avoided or at least the usage of these products should be made minimal.

To prevent children from getting stained teeth, parents should always check out the fluoride concentration of the water the family drinks, and this can be done by calling up the local health department.

By using all these preventive methods together, it’s possible to keep tooth discoloration at bay.


Teeth Whitening - In The News


Teeth Whitening Number One Request From Patients

"According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening is the number one request from patients between the ages of 20 and 50. And more than a billion dollars a year is spent on the procedure."

Fox News

Blinded by the White: Teeth Go Beyond Pearly

"Other celebs including Jon Bon Jovi, Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Britney Spears, Cheryl Hines, Eva Longoria and Tom Cruise - plus many more - have gleaming white smiles as a result of bleaching..."