What Stains Teeth?

What Stains Teeth?

Stained teeth have proven themselves to be one of our nation’s most common pet peeves. There is a wide variety of teeth whitening treatments in today’s dental market, but what causes stained teeth?


Teeth can stain for many different reasons. Your oral hygiene, medication use and food and drink choices can all be causes of stained teeth. Teeth stains occur on the surface of the tooth or below the tooth enamel. Some people develop both types of teeth stains.

Here at Manor House Dental, we understand the growing demand for white teeth, and have listed types and causes below to help you decide on the best treatment for you.





Types of Tooth Stains

Tooth discolouration occurs as a result of surface stains or due to a change in your tooth material. Patients can be affected by both factors.


There are three main categories of tooth discoloration:


  • Extrinsic Tooth Stains:


An extrinsic tooth stain is staining on the surface of the tooth. These stains occur when particles build up in the film of protein protecting the tooth enamel. These particles can come from pigmented residue from food or drink consumption. Pigmented residue usually comes from regularly drinking stain-prone drinks such as; wine, coffee and tea or consistent tobacco use.

This type of staining can be corrected by regular brushing with a whitening toothpaste recommended by your dentist. However, for the best quick and effective results in removing this stain, dental cleaning is advised. Done regularly, stains can be effectively removed from the teeth and improve overall hygiene, preventing further staining.

  • Intrinsic Tooth Stains:

    This is staining below the surface of the tooth. Staining particles work through the exterior of the tooth and accumulate within the tooth enamel. These types of stains are commonly related to over exposure to fluoride.
    An intrinsic stain can be more stubborn and harder to remove, but it is possible. These types of stains usually require professional teeth whitening. Home teeth whitening kits and strips are more likely to cause further damage to your teeth, so finding a professional dentist for this treatment is key.

  • Age-Related Teeth Stains:

These stains combine the results of extrinsic and intrinsic tooth discolouration. Teeth discolour with age naturally because of the core tissue (dentin) of your teeth yellowing over time. As we age, the enamel that covers our tooth is expected to become thinner. This allows the dentin to show through.

Again these kinds of stains can be tricky to remove, and often require teeth whitening treatments best carried out by a professional. Here at Manor House Dental, we understand the desire for whiter teeth and promise to help you find the best treatment for your situation.

What Causes Tooth Stains?

Chemical compounds called chromogens are what give certain food and drinks their strong colour. This chemical compound is what stains our teeth. Fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are high in chromogens.

Food and drinks that are high in tannin and acids can also wear down your teeth, increasing their chance of staining.

Common Tooth Stain Causes

  • Oral Care: Poor dental hygiene, for example, inadequate or irregular brushing can cause tooth stains. 
  • Trauma or Disease: Certain illnesses or diseases that affect enamel development in children while teeth are developing can cause discoloured teeth. Trauma to adult teeth can also cause discolouration.
  • Medical Treatments and Medications: Several types of medications such as blood pressure tablets, antipsychotic medications and antihistamines can cause teeth staining. Medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can also have an effect.
  • Food and Drink: High-staining drinks and pigmented foods such as coffee, tea, curry and some vegetables can cause discoloured teeth.
  • Regular tobacco usage: Chewing tobacco, rolling tobacco and cigarettes all lead to tooth discolouration. 

Food and Drinks That Stain Teeth

A good rule of thumb to follow is that if a food or drink is likely to stain your tongue or your clothes, then it is likely to stain your teeth too. Some foods that are likely to stain your teeth also contain healthy vitamins and minerals. We don’t recommend cutting them from your diet completely but cutting down on the number of teeth-staining food and drinks you can consume will help you to maintain a whiter and brighter smile.


Top 10 Teeth Staining Food and Drink 

  • Red wine
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Tomato-based juices and sauces
  • Soy Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Curry
  • Beetroot
  • Berries

If you do wish to consume any of these foods or drinks, we recommend cleaning your teeth thoroughly after doing so.

At Manor House Dental, we offer a range of teeth whitening treatments and hygiene appointments to help you maintain a bright and white smile. Book an appointment with us today to start your smile makeover journey. You can also visit our smile gallery to see our wealth of outstanding results.

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