Common Types Of Tooth Stains: Does Teeth Whitening Actually Remove Them?
What Is The Best Whitening Treatment For Each Type Of Tooth Stain?
Teeth whitening procedures continue to increase in popularity as more people realize the efficacy and affordability of these treatments. If your teeth are yellow or discolored, it might be a good time for you to consider undergoing one of these simple teeth whitening procedures for yourself. There are multiple types of whitening treatments available to choose from, and you may find yourself wondering whether teeth whitening actually removes stains, or merely covers them up. Your Gilbert dentist explains more so you can understand which type of whitening procedure is best for you.
Different Types Of Tooth Stains
If you want to know whether teeth whitening procedures actually remove stains, the answer is “it depends.” There are three categories of teeth stains and different procedures are recommended to treat each type.
This type of tooth staining discolors the enamel of your teeth, which is the outer layer of each tooth. Enamel protects the softer dentin layer below. Stains on enamel develop because enamel touches everything that goes into your mouth – food, drinks, and nicotine. Over time, enamel will begin to absorb the coloring of these substances, causing surface staining. Since enamel staining doesn’t move through the enamel into the dentin layer, it can be removed with at-home or over-the-counter whitening systems, or treated professionally at your Gilbert dental clinic if you prefer.
When the dentin, which is the sensitive layer beneath your tooth enamel, becomes stained, it’s known as an intrinsic stain. Dentin is naturally dark and more yellow in color than enamel, and can become exposed when enamel erodes away from wear and tear on your teeth or poor oral hygiene. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove than extrinsic stains, and can lead to more tooth sensitivity, so these types of stains are best addressed by your dentist for professional treatment.
As we get older, our bodies begin to change. Two common changes that occur as people age include a darkening of their dentin and thinning of their enamel. This combination can lead to teeth staining or color changes that are out of your control even if you have perfect oral hygiene. Like intrinsic staining, age-related staining goes into the dentin layer of teeth and is most effectively treated at your dental office.
How Can Teeth Stains Be Treated?
No matter what type of tooth staining you are dealing with, your Gilbert dentist has you covered with a variety of treatment options!
This is an inexpensive and simple option to remove extrinsic stains. If products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, they may also work on deeper stains, but carry the risk of increased tooth sensitivity.
- Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash is easy to add to your oral hygiene routine. Look for products that advertise help with whitening. Use whitening toothpaste twice daily and whitening mouthwash once daily for best results, and keep in mind that the results will be gradual, as use over time is what makes these products effective. Generally, whitening toothpaste is a good option for surface staining but not for deeper staining. These over the counter products are best used to help maintain a professional in office or at home whitening treatment.
- Tooth whitening gel is available as an over-the-counter option or in custom trays from your Gilbert dentist. Both types contain bleaching agents and come in contact with only your teeth, not the inside of your mouth. They are more effective than toothpaste or mouthwash.
- Tooth whitening strips are a popular at-home method that uses pre-made strips rather than a tray.. Tooth whitening strips are a one size fits all type of product and tend to overlap onto the gums, causing sensitivity.
- Whitening pen is a convenient spot treatment that you can carry along in your purse or backpack to use as needed. The pen makes it quick and easy to apply a layer of whitening gel onto specific areas of your teeth. While the ingredients are less powerful than other types of treatment, the pen definitely wins in the convenience category.
If your teeth stains persist despite at-home treatments, schedule an appointment with your Gilbert dental clinic to discuss your options and remove the deep stains from your teeth. While in-office treatments are the most expensive teeth whitening option, they are also the most efficient and longest-lasting. Your caring dental team will gently remove staining from your teeth so you can dazzle everyone with your perfectly white smile!
Top Rated Dental Care In Gilbert
Get the quality dental care you deserve with the team at Gilbert Vista Dental Care. Dr. Peck specializes in a wide variety of preventative and cosmetic dental care procedures, with the goal of patient comfort and satisfaction throughout their visit. To schedule your appointment, give us a call today!