What Are Extrinsic and Intrinsic Dental Discolorations?

In our Asheville dental office, we meet many patients who are looking for solutions to help with their tooth discolorations. They also often wonder why their smile is darkened or yellow. It’s important to understand why this happens and how it can be prevented or repaired.

Do You Have Extrinsic Dental Stains?

Most patients who seek help from their Asheville dentist for stained teeth usually have extrinsic dental discolorations. Extrinsic dental stains mean that the discoloration is solely affecting your teeth’s enamel. Your enamel is extremely durable, but even though it’s the most mineralized substance found anywhere in your body, the color can vary, and staining can occur.

Some of the most common causes of this type of dental staining are:

  • Tea and coffee
  • Deep or dark colored foods
  • Red and white wine
  • Smoking and tobacco use

If you want your smile to be free from extrinsic dental discolorations, it’s important to remember to brush and floss every day. Your mouth will stay free from harmful acids that can also discolor your teeth and further deteriorate your enamel. You can also consider using a straw when you’re drinking potentially harmful beverages such as iced tea or coffee, soda, energy drinks, and juice.

What Are Intrinsic Dental Stains?

Your dentist in Asheville also helps patients with intrinsic dental stains have a healthier smile. This type of discoloration is harder to get rid of because, as the name suggests, it’s usually deeply embedded in your teeth. Usually, instricially compromised teeth are greyish colored.

Some of the most common causes of this type of dental staining are:

  • Tooth development while a baby is still in utero
  • Tooth development during early childhood
  • Various antibiotics and other prescription medications
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Deteriorating teeth with dental fractures or cracks causing weakened tooth enamel
  • Overexposure to fluoride
  • Bleeding or infection within your tooth’s pulp
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Excessive bruxism or grinding of the teeth

It’s important you call Phillips & Schmitt DDS at 828-254-1944 to schedule an appointment with us if your smile is not as bright and healthy as you’d like it to be. You could possibly benefit from professional whitening treatment. These procedures are most effective for patients with extrinsic staining. Intrinsically compromised teeth can be lightened, but they tend to lose their brightness quicker than other teeth following a whitening treatment. Some patients with intrinsic staining opt to learn more about their cosmetic options such as porcelain veneers or bonding.

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