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Tooth discolouration

Tooth discolouration

What you need to know
about Tooth discoloration

Stains and tooth discolouration are frequent occurrences that can arise for a number of causes. the positive news Many of these stains can be avoided and treated.

The reasons for tooth discolouration and stains are discussed here, along with some tips for maintaining the appearance of your teeth.

Tooth discolouration Stain Types

Extrinsic. With extrinsic tooth discolouration, the enamel, or the tooth’s surface, is probably the only part of the tooth that is being stained. The following are the most typical extrinsic stain causes:

  • Drinks
  • Food
  • Tobacco

Intrinsic. As it is embedded in the tooth, this kind of stain is harder to remove using over-the-counter whitening solutions. It frequently looks grey. Intrinsic stains include, for instance:

  • Various medications
  • Injury & trauma to a tooth
  • Decay
  • Too much fluoride
  • Genetics

Age-related. Your teeth’s enamel starts to erode as you get older, which frequently gives them a yellow tint. Age-related discolouration frequently results from both external and internal causes.

Staining by colour

Here is what could be causing the discolouration of your teeth:

Yellow. Smokers and chewers are more likely to have yellow stains on their teeth. Yellow discolouration may also result from:

  • Drinks like red wine, coffee, or tea
  • Consuming a lot of simple carbohydrates
  • Certain medicines
  • Bad dental hygiene
  • Persistent dry mouth

Brown. There are numerous reasons for brown patches or discolouration. Among the most frequent causes are:

  • Cigarette & tobacco
  • Drinks including red wine, cola, tea, and coffee
  • Fruits like pomegranates, blueberries, and blackberries
  • Neglected dental decay
  • Accumulation of tartar

White. On your tooth, a cavity may appear as a white spot that darkens as it progresses. White patches on your teeth might also result from consuming too much fluoride.

Black. You can get a black mark or stain by:

  • A Trauma
  • A sophisticated dental cavity
  • Crowns and fillings made of silver sulphide
  • Iron supplementation in liquid form

Purple. Patients who regularly drink wine have teeth that have a stronger purple undertone.



According to the British Dental Association (BDA), the main causes of the mouth condition teeth discolouration are often what we eat and drink, ageing, and tooth trauma.

Cigarettes, alcohol, and food

Certain foods and beverages have the ability to penetrate your tooth structure’s outermost layers and discolour your teeth. Some of the most typical causes of tooth discolouration include:

  • Red sauces
  • Dark wines
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • The use of tobacco products like cigarettes or chewing tobacco can potentially stain teeth.

Clinical studies show that smokers have a higher prevalence of tooth discolouration than non-smokers. Additionally, the study discovered that smokers have greater levels of self-dissatisfaction based on the state of their teeth.

Additionally, according to BDA, an acidic oral environment can increase the risk of tooth enamel discolouration.

Antibiotics, age, and injuries

Your teeth may become more fragile and more susceptible to discolouration or yellowing as you age.

There are situations when only the damaged tooth darkens when tooth injuries are the cause of the issue.

You might wish to find out the antibiotics you were given if you took them as a child. The NHS asserts a connection between tetracycline antibiotic use as a youngster and lifelong tooth discolouration.


Teeth with stains may have cavities. Cavities are microscopic holes that weaken the structure of teeth. Additionally, discoloured teeth might contribute to gingivitis, a condition marked by bleeding and gum irritation. Periodontitis develops when bacteria near the teeth produce toxic byproducts that hurt the gums.

When to see a dentist

It’s a good idea to follow up with your dentist if you detect a change in the colour of your teeth. Especially if it doesn’t improve with a home whitening solution. If a stain looks to be deep and over-the-counter whitening products are unable to remove it, it may be a sign of a cavity or demineralization of the enamel.

If only one tooth is stained, the cause may be a cavity or damage to the tooth’s interior. The quicker these problem is addressed by your dentist, the more likely a successful outcome will be.

Visit your dentist twice a year for standard exams to maintain the health of your teeth. These appointments will be more frequent when an issue is found. Early intervention can help avoid the problem from getting worse and more complicated.

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Treatment of Tooth discolouration

Your teeth can be whitened using a variety of products and techniques, which can also remove or lessen the visibility of stains.

Options for teeth whitening can generally be divided into three categories. They consist of:

  • In-Clinic Treatment. Compared to at-home kits, your dentist will normally use a higher dosage of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening. Compared to other treatments, in-office therapy works swiftly and typically produces longer-lasting results.
  • Therapies provided by your dentist for use at home. Some dentists can create bespoke trays for you to use at home to brush your teeth. You’ll fill the tray with gel and place it over your teeth for up to an hour each day, or as your dentist advises. To see the effects, you might need to wear the trays for a few weeks.
  • Over-the-counter whiteners. Although whitening toothpaste and strips may be able to reduce surface stains, they are significantly less efficient at removing intrinsic stains that are present deep within your teeth.

Before using any teeth-whitening product, check with your dentist to make sure it’s safe. Some products might irritate the gums or cause tooth sensitivity.

Additionally, remember to schedule routine dental cleanings at your dentist’s office. Stains and spots can frequently be made to appear less noticeable with routine examinations and cleanings.

Prevention of Tooth discolouration

  • After consuming foods with colour, take care of your teeth. If you’re going to ingest coloured food or beverages, clean and floss your teeth right away. If that isn’t possible, drinking or gargling with water can help get rid of at least some of the stain-causing particles.
  • Maintain a healthy mouth. Using whitening toothpaste or mouthwash, flossing every day, and brushing your teeth at least three times a day are all recommended. Excellent choices for reducing those bothersome, difficult-to-remove stains between the teeth are mouthwash and water flossers.
  • Change your behaviour. Consult your dentist about a quitting programme if you smoke or chew tobacco. Additionally, you might wish to limit your intake of substances that can discolour your teeth. If you find it difficult to do that, keep a toothbrush nearby so you can take preventative measures to keep your teeth free of stain-causing substances.


Anyone can get tooth discolouration for a variety of reasons, and it is a common occurrence. Pigmented foods, drinks, and tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco are frequently the cause.

With teeth whitening products or procedures, stains that develop on the surface of your teeth can typically be eliminated or diminished. You can either try at-home remedies or have your dentist perform these.

Intrinsic stains, also known as internal discolouration or stains, can result from dental decay, trauma, or medicine. The best course of action for these kinds of stains might be suggested by your dentist.