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Lakeview South Loop

Discolored Teeth

Posted on April 25th, 2017 by

We all want that sparkling white, Hollywood smile. Unfortunately, many of us just don’t have naturally bright, white teeth. Over time, our teeth can become stained or yellowed by a number of factors. Tooth discoloration can often be corrected by professional teeth-whitening from a dentist. The most efficient way to have bright, white teeth, is to prevent staining in the first place by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding foods and beverages that might stain your teeth (coffees, colas, wine).

Categories of Discoloration

There are a few ways your teeth can become discolored. There is extrinsic discoloration, intrinsic discoloration, and a combination of the two. Below is a brief description of each. To understand, we need to briefly discuss the structure of a tooth. There are four main parts of a tooth: the enamel, the dentin, the cementum, and the pulp. For this blog post we will be talking mainly about the enamel and the dentin. The enamel is the tough outer shell of the tooth. It is clear, it is tough, and it is what protects the rest of the tooth from damage. The dentin is the next layer down inside the tooth. It’s what generally gives teeth their color and it is the material that makes up the majority of the content of the tooth.

Intrinsic Discoloration

Intrinsic discoloration occurs when the dentin inside your tooth becomes affected by internal factors. This could be due to different medications, some sort of trauma has affected your teeth that may have caused internal bleeding. There are also cases where people are simply born with discolored dentin.

External Discoloration

External discoloration involves the tooth enamel. This happens when the foods and beverages we consume affect the color of the outer part of our teeth. Beverages like coffee, wine, soft drinks, and tea all can stain our tooth enamel causing our teeth to appear yellowish or brownish. Tobacco products and smoking also have this effect.


Over time, dentin naturally tends to yellow. In combination with this, your tooth enamel wears down with age, allowing this dentin to show through more and more. Intrinsic and extrinsic discoloration compound upon each other over time causing the whiteness of your teeth to dull naturally as you get older.

Teeth Whitening

Luckily, science and technology make it possible for us to reverse the effects of discoloration to our teeth. Call Art of Modern Dentistry to discuss how professional tooth whitening can help you get the bright, shining smile we all want!

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