Read on to learn the different teeth stain types and what are their causes of occurrence

From dietary choices to oral hygiene and medication use, teeth can stain for several reasons. Typically, stains appear on the teeth’ surface, below the enamel, or both. Teeth stains can affect your smile and confidence. However, they can be reversed and prevented from happening in the first place. Continue reading to find out the causes and types of teeth stains.

Types Of Teeth Stains

Teeth stains or discoloration can be categorized into three types:

Extrinsic Teeth Stains

  • Staining on the teeth’ surface is called extrinsic teeth stain. Extrinsic stains occur due to the residual buildup of the food particles in the protein film that covers the tooth enamel. Regular tobacco use or tea, coffee, wine, or cola drinks is the main cause of extrinsic teeth stains. Regular dental cleaning and brushing with whitening toothpaste help eliminate extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic Teeth Stains

  • Intrinsic teeth stains develop below the surface of the teeth. These types of stains occur when stain-causing particles accumulate within the tooth enamel. Excessive fluoride use has also been associated with the development of intrinsic stains, especially in children. It is hard to remove the intrinsic teeth stains. The removal of such stains requires professional teeth-whitening.

Age-Related Teeth Stains

  • Age-related teeth stains are a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic stains. The dentin, which is the core tissue of the teeth, naturally becomes yellow over time. When this happens, teeth discolor. The enamel becomes thinner with age, thus exposing the dentin below. The intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including food, beverages, and tobacco usage, cause the staining of adult teeth with age.

Causes And Prevention Of Teeth Staining

  • There are several causes of teeth staining, some of which can be prevented while others are natural and beyond your control. Here are some of the common causes of tooth discoloration.

Food And Beverages

  • The proven causes of teeth staining include coffee, tea, dark sodas, red wine, and even a few fruits and vegetables.


  • Tobacco usage in the form of cigarettes and chewing tobacco is a substantial contributing factor to teeth stains.

Poor Dental Hygiene

  • Inadequate oral care and poor dental hygiene, such as improper brushing or flossing, can lead to tooth stains.


  • Certain illnesses or traumas can impair the enamel development in children in the womb or before age 8. In addition, trauma, diseases, or treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment can lead to teeth staining.


  • Medical treatments and certain medications, including high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antibiotics, and antipsychotic medications, can cause teeth stains.

Taking Care Of Your Oral Health

teeth stain typesHere are a few things to prevent teeth staining or discoloration.

  • Brush your teeth regularly for two minutes before bed and after waking up.
  • Use a tooth whitening paste with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.
  • Floss between your teeth and limit drinks that cause staining, such as tea, coffee, wine, etc.
  • It is advisable to keep a reusable straw handy to sip acidic liquids. This prevents discoloration of your front teeth.
  • After drinking acidic beverages, lemonade, juices, colas, etc., rinse your mouth and drink water.
  • Avoid smoking to prevent tobacco stains.
  • Do not use over-the-counter tooth whitening kits without consulting your dentist first. Save your smile by using the right ways to whiten your teeth.

Contact Icon Dental Center today for teeth whitening treatment. We are one of the best dental professionals operating in Everett and Seattle. Call us today at 206-225-2882, and let us help you smile with greater confidence.

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