It can be easy to believe that dull yellow teeth are simply the result of stains on the outer layer of your teeth. However, tooth discoloration can come in two types: intrinsic and extrinsic. Understanding the difference between these two types of tooth stain can help you better understand how to achieve the brighter smile of your dreams. For example, if you have spent countless money on whitening products only to be left with the same discolored smile, you have teeth with intrinsic stains. Your dentist can be the best resource for helping you determine the type of discoloration affecting your smile and recommending the best ways to counter it.
Extrinsic: The Outer Layer
Discoloration from build-up on the enamel of your teeth are known as extrinsic stains or discoloration. It can be caused by dark colored beverages and food, smoking, poor oral hygiene, or even just the passing of time. External stains can be removed through a whitening treatment that breaks up the build-up to whiten your smile. Professional options can get your teeth several shades lighter in a short amount of time with the guidance of your dentist. You can choose between a treatment done in-office or a customized take-home kit with professional-grade whitening gel. Your choice will depend on your goals, budget, and timeline.
Intrinsic: Stains From Within
Intrinsic discoloration comes from beneath the outer layer of enamel, which is translucent. These stains can be caused by tooth trauma, internal bleeding, genetics, certain medications, illnesses, or aging. A whitening treatment on the surface of your teeth will not make a difference if the stains come from below the surface. If you want to brighten your entire smile, porcelain veneers could be a great option to cover up intrinsic discoloration. If you have just one or a few teeth affected, cosmetic bonding may be a good way to blend the teeth in with the rest of your bright smile.
Certain types of stains can be removed from your teeth
Dr. Young can help you determine the best way to brighten up your smile. We proudly help patients from Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, contact us at our Lafayette, LA, dentist’s office at 337-237-6453.